In a closed-door meeting on Friday, House Republicans voted to nominate Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) as their candidate for speaker. This decision comes after their initial choice, Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), failed to secure enough party support. Jordan won the nomination by a vote of 124-81, beating out Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) who had also announced his bid for the speaker position. However, Jordan still needs to solidify support from a few holdouts before the matter can be referred to the full House for a vote.
Of course, there’s always a snag in politics. Many Republicans have left Washington, D.C. for the weekend, which means the actual vote may have to be delayed until enough members return. We can’t have a vote without a majority, after all. It’s a waiting game now to see when Jordan will have gathered the necessary support.
This isn’t the first time Jordan has been a contender for the role. Earlier in the week, he went head-to-head with Scalise in another closed-door meeting, but the majority leader came out on top by a narrow margin. Jordan graciously dropped out and endorsed Scalise at the time. However, it seems that some lawmakers weren’t too keen on Scalise as their speaker, leading him to withdraw his candidacy and opening the door for Jordan to make a comeback.
#BREAKING: House Republicans tap Jim Jordan as nominee for next speaker
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 13, 2023
It’s an uphill battle for Jordan, though. He has a reputation for being a bit of a firebrand, which doesn’t sit well with the more moderate Republicans and swing district members. Convincing them to support his nomination will be no easy task, especially since Scalise’s and some of McCarthy’s supporters have already stated they won’t back Jordan. It’s not looking like a smooth path to the gavel for him.
Now the question is whether Jordan can secure the necessary votes. He can only afford to lose four, considering Democrats are expected to vote for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). If he can’t gather the support he needs, we could be looking at a multi-round election, reminiscent of the one that took place earlier this year when it took McCarthy 15 rounds to win the leadership position.
It’s worth noting that all of this is happening while the House is effectively paralyzed following McCarthy’s removal. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has been appointed as speaker pro tempore in the meantime, but without a speaker, things are at a standstill. And with critical appropriations bills and the Israel-Hamas conflict on the line, time is of the essence in getting a new speaker elected. Let’s hope they can put their differences aside and get the job done for the sake of the country.