House Republicans are in a quandary as Jim Jordan hunts for enough votes to become speaker



CNN

House Republicans have chosen Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan Friday as their new speaker nominee, but more than 50 Republicans voted against endorsing him in the House Ford — the party still reeling from the 10-day ouster of Kevin McCarthy’s historic ousting of a speaker.

Jordan sent the convention home for the weekend following Friday’s party vote, and lawmakers said he planned to use the time to talk to his opponents and try to win them over.

Jordan faces stiff opposition to be elected speaker because of the same math problem that scuttled Steve Scalise, who initially won the GOP nomination for speaker. Resistance.

By failing to unify behind a single nominee, the GOP convention has plunged the House into uncharted territory and effectively frozen the chamber at a time when major international and domestic crises are brewing. Israel’s War Against Hamas A possible government shutdown in mid-November.

If all members vote, when the House votes for speaker, Jordan or any other Republican speaker candidate can only lose four GOP votes because a speaker needs a majority of the entire House to win a vote.

Jordan’s supporters are hopeful he can still get there, but the Ohio Republican faces a big uphill climb.

The House GOP convention on Friday selected Jordan as its latest speaker-designate in a 124-81 vote over GOP Rep. Austin Scott A native of Georgia – a surprise at the last minute auction. Jordan received only 25 supporters in Wednesday’s vote, in which Scalise defeated Jordan 113-99.

Jordan called for a second vote, asking members if they would support him on the floor, in an attempt to see if it could undercut his opposition. That vote, which was cast by secret ballot, was 152-55 — putting Jordan’s speaker bid a long way to victory.

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Jordan has made a name for himself as a staunch ally of Donald Trump and has been endorsed by the former president in his bid for the speakership. The Ohio Republican serves as chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee.

On his way to an earlier meeting of the House GOP convention Friday morning, Jordan told CNN’s Manu Raju that he thinks he can get the 217 votes needed to win. Go there at the end of the day.

“I think we’ll get 217 votes,” Jordan said. “I think we’re going to get 217 votes — that’s the fastest way to consolidate and get to the platform.”

Jose Luis Magana/AP

Representative Kevin McCarthy leaves the Republican National Convention meeting at the Capitol in Washington on Friday.

On Friday morning, McCarthy said he supported Jordan in the speaker’s race, saying, “We need to get this back on track.”

According to a GOP aide, Jordan has been meeting with holdouts and making calls as he tries to lock in the 217 votes he needs to win.

The problem for the House GOP is that it’s unclear who can lock down the 217 votes needed to secure the 217 votes needed, raising questions about how, when and at what cost the impasse for the speakership will last. Republicans are mired in infighting After the historic ouster of Kevin McCarthy, the House is deadlocked without a clear path to electing a new Speaker.

Tensions are simmering among House Republicans concerned about the impasse and the path forward.

After Scalise dropped out of the race Thursday evening, Rep. Mark Alford, Republican of Missouri, told reporters: “”You know, you can put Jesus Christ as Speaker of the House and he still won’t get 217,” one lawmaker remarked.

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Representative. Dan Bacon, when asked to say “no” on Jordan, told CNN’s Manu Raju, “I’m chewing on that now,” and said he was reluctant to reward what many Republicans see as “bad behavior.” He said it wasn’t Jordan’s fault.

“We had five people today who would only vote for Jim, not Steve. A lot of us feel like doing that rewards bad behavior. My problem is it’s not Jim’s fault, so I’m fighting about that,” he said. “There’s a great quote … if you give a misbehaving 5-year-old more ice cream, they’re going to misbehave, right? That’s what happens here if we reward that behavior. So many of us are against it.

Scalise’s exit from the race and McCarthy’s historic ouster as speaker have highlighted the power of a small faction of conservatives to sideline the majority agenda in the convention. House Republicans control a razor-thin majority and a speaker candidate can win with just four losses.

Before he challenged Jordan on Thursday night, Scott told CNN the GOP’s inability to elect a new speaker was driven by a small number of holdouts.

“We have a very small group that wants to have everything their way. We had a group that sabotaged Speaker McCarthy, and now we’ve got a group that sabotaged Steve Scalise, and they’re both great men,” he said.

McHenry is acting speaker

Before Scalise stepped down, Republicans were already considering whether to try to expand the powers of Acting Speaker Patrick McHenry of North Carolina so the House could pass legislation like the Israel resolution, several lawmakers told CNN.

GOP Rep. of Arkansas. “It’s an option we can pursue,” Steve Womack told reporters.

Centrist Republicans are circulating a letter urging McHenry to have more temporary power, sources told CNN — a sign of the GOP’s desperation to unite around a speaker.

The effort to expand the powers of the interim speaker, much less a role, would put House Republicans in untested legal territory and could be difficult to pull off, and some in the party have already pushed back on the idea.

“I don’t want to see it,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Ballard, a Republican from Florida.

Jordan has been the face of key House GOP investigations as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

The Ohio Republican has served in Congress since 2007 and has a long-standing reputation as a conservative agitator who helped found the fierce House Freedom Caucus.

In addition to chairing the Judiciary Committee, Jordan also chairs the Select Subcommittee on “Weaponization” of the federal government. When McCarthy announced the House GOP impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, he said he would lead the effort along with House Oversight Chairman James Comer Jordan, along with Judiciary Chairman and Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith.

While Republicans say their investigative work is important to informing the American people and ensuring accountability, Democrats often criticize Jordan as an overly partisan Trump defender and accuse him of using his perch to protect the former president ahead of the 2024 presidential election. .

As Jordan oversees key House GOP investigations, Democrats also point to the fact that he stonewalled a subpoena for testimony by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Both Jordan and Scalise supported objections to Electoral College results when Congress met to certify Biden’s presidential victory on January 6, 2021, the same day pro-Trump mobs stormed the U.S. Capitol and disrupted the election.

This story and topic have been updated with additional improvements.

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