Jim Jordan Nominated For House Speaker By GOP, Vote Expected Next Week
Far-right Ohio Republican Jim Jordan faces an uphill battle to secure the 217 votes needed to win the House Speaker nomination.
In a surprising turn of events, Jim Jordan, a far-right Republican from Ohio and a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, emerged as the winner in the GOP's internal nomination for House Speaker. However, Jordan's victory does not guarantee an easy path to securing the 217 votes needed to win the position.
The internal nomination vote took place after Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise, who had initially beaten Jordan by a margin of 113 to 99, withdrew from the race due to the lack of support from holdouts. In the subsequent vote, Jordan faced off against moderate Georgia Representative Austin Scott, who entered the race at the last minute. The secret ballot resulted in a split within the GOP caucus, with 124 votes in favor of Jordan and 81 in favor of Scott.
To assess the number of Republicans who would support Jordan in a House vote, a second secret ballot was conducted, which increased Jordan's tally to 152-55. However, Jordan can only afford a maximum of four defections if he hopes to secure the top House job, a challenging task for a controversial politician who was once considered part of the far-right flank of the GOP caucus.
The uncertainty surrounding the House Speaker position poses a threat to the House's ability to address pressing international and domestic issues, such as the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and the potential government shutdown. Moreover, Jordan is unlikely to receive any support from Democrats in a floor vote, as a group of House representatives gathered outside the Capitol to denounce his nomination. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries labeled Jordan as the "chairman of the chaos caucus" and an "extremist extraordinaire."
Democrats' criticism of Jordan offers a glimpse into how they would portray a Jordan speakership during the 2024 campaign season. Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the Democratic whip, accused Jordan of siding with insurrectionists against democracy, referencing his involvement in supporting Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and his defense of the former president after the January 6th insurrection.
While some argue that Jordan's close association with Trump could potentially sway House members concerned about alienating the party's pro-Trump base, it remains to be seen whether this will be enough to secure the necessary votes. Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie suggested that Jordan has time to address concerns and gain support, but the road ahead will undoubtedly be challenging. Jordan must engage with his colleagues and address their concerns to rally support for his bid for House Speaker.