In a move reflecting the ongoing internal turmoil within the House Republican ranks, members have officially nominated Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as their choice for the Speaker of the House.
The nomination follows an internal secret ballot vote held behind closed doors, which took place today, marking a significant step in the process to select a new Speaker, as the lower chamber remains without a leader for the 10th consecutive day.
Rep. Jim Jordan, currently serving as the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, secured the nomination, defeating the unexpected entry of Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), who emerged as an alternative candidate to Jordan in the speaker’s race.
It is important to note that this nomination is a formal endorsement by the majority of GOP lawmakers, but for Rep. Jim Jordan to become the Speaker, he must gather an overwhelming majority of House Republicans, totaling 217 votes, on the floor. This remains a challenging task, especially considering the uncertainty surrounding Rep. Scott’s supporters and the possibility of a floor vote as early as this Friday afternoon.
The House Republican conference has witnessed deep divisions in recent days, exemplified by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) withdrawing from the speaker’s race shortly after securing the conference’s nomination in an internal secret ballot vote, where he defeated Jordan by a margin of 113-99. Scalise’s inability to unite House Republicans stemmed from his perceived continuation of the status quo after the removal of former Speaker McCarthy.
With Scalise no longer in the race, Rep. Jim Jordan is now widely regarded as the most competitive candidate for Speaker. However, it remains to be seen whether he can garner the necessary support to claim the position.
Amidst the urgency of addressing a looming government shutdown and the intensifying conflict between a key U.S. ally, Israel, and Hamas militants, House Republicans are pressed to elect a new Speaker.
Rep. Jim Jordan’s potential ascent to the speakership represents a remarkable turnaround for the Ohio Republican, who initially entered Congress in 2007 as a conservative firebrand known for challenging GOP leadership. He was a co-founder of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus and served as its inaugural chair. Jordan is also recognized as a close ally of former President Donald Trump, having refused to certify President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. In his role as Chair of the influential Judiciary Committee, Jordan is leading House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into President Biden.
Despite his hard-right conservative credentials, Jordan has gradually shifted toward GOP leadership as an ally, most notably endorsing McCarthy’s speakership bid back in January when the California Republican persevered through 15 ballots to secure the gavel.
In contrast, Rep. Austin Scott, who joined Congress in 2011, is considered a rank-and-file member. His candidacy for the speakership mirrors the frustration and heightened emotions currently gripping House Republicans, who have yet to coalesce behind a single leader.
Reflecting on the ongoing speaker’s race, Rep. Austin Scott expressed, “It makes us look like a bunch of idiots.”
This is a developing story, come back to this report for updates.
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