Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has thrown his support behind Congressman Jim Jordan’s bid for speaker of the U.S. House.
Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, has appeared on the ballot for members of Congress to vote on twice this week, but he has failed to gain enough votes to take the speakership during two votes. Enough members of his own party haven’t voted to support his bid for him to gain traction.
Fitzpatrick’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment on his votes or a request for an interview, but he put out a verbose yet ambiguous statement on social media. In his statement, Fitzpatrick didn’t mention Jordan’s name.
Fitzpatrick blamed members of his own party who voted to oust the last speaker and Democrats for voting to support that effort.
“We must elect a speaker and reopen our government ASAP,” Fitzpatrick said.
Jordan would need 217 votes to be elected speaker. The conservative congressman received 200 votes on Tuesday and 199 votes on Wednesday.
Following Jordan’s loss, the House’s next steps to secure a new speaker remained uncertain.
Two weeks after Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s removal as speaker, the House has struggled to conduct routine business, including forthcoming federal spending legislation and military support packages for Ukraine and Israel.
On Capitol Hill, Jordan is a contentious figure known for his sharp criticisms of Democrats. He has also faced scrutiny for his involvement in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results after former President Donald Trump’s defeat and allegations that he overlooked sexual abuse allegations of wrestlers at Ohio State.
Leading up to this week’s vote, area conservative Facebook groups encouraged followers to call Fitzpatrick’s office and urge him to support Jordan, a regular fixture on conservative talk shows.
In Fitzpatrick’s First Congressional District, the Congressional Integrity Project political advocacy group began airing ads highlighting Jordan’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and links to the January 6 attack.
“Every House Republican who votes for Jim Jordan to be Speaker of the House should be held accountable for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, his role in the January 6th fake electors plot, and his continued attacks on our democracy,” Congressional Integrity Project Executive Director Kyle Herrig said.
Ashley Ehasz, a Democratic candidate for the First Congressional District, said Fitzpatrick caved to the Trump-supporting wing of the party with his vote for Jordan.
“Once again, Brian Fitzpatrick has shown he lacks political courage,” Ehasz said. “After years of paying lip service to bipartisanship, Fitzpatrick doubled down on his drive to the right wing of the Republican party by voting for Trump’s hand-picked speaker.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called out Fitzpatrick on his vote.
“Brian Fitzpatrick always caves. He caved and voted to ban abortion, he caved and voted to cut funding for law enforcement and Social Security, and he caved and voted for one of the architects of Jan 6. When push comes to shove, Fitzpatrick sides with Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans,” said spokesperson Aidan Johnson.
Indivisible Bucks County, a progressive organization, condemned Fitzpatrick’s vote for Jordan, calling the speaker candidate a “disreputable and hyper-partisan lawmaker.”
“Brian Fitzpatrick is not moderate, nor is he interested in forwarding bipartisan aims,” said Laura Rose of Indivisible Bucks County. “This vote in support of MAGA-extremist Jim Jordan for House Speaker shows that Brian Fitzpatrick is less interested in the well-being of our nation and more interested in winning a challenging Republican primary.”
Agnes ‘Sparky’ Morrison, a Northampton Township resident, Democrat, and U.S. Air Force veteran, said Fitzpatrick’s votes revealed his true character.
“Brian Fitzpatrick showed his true colors by caving to MAGA extremists and casting his vote for Trump’s hand picked candidate for speaker. Jim Jordan is an election denier who tried to throw out my vote on Jan. 6, and as someone who served to protect those fundamental freedoms, it sickens me that Fitzpatrick continues to put party over country,” she said.