Intriguing Developments: Jim Jordan’s Speaker Nomination Takes Surprising Twists and Turns

House Republicans nominated Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio as their new speaker nominee on Friday, as Rep. Steve Scalise withdrew his candidacy due to opposition from hard-right GOP members. Jordan, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, won the internal party vote 124 to 81 against Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia.

After Jordan’s nomination, a second secret ballot vote was conducted to assess support for him. In this vote, Jordan received 152 votes in favor and 55 against, falling short of the 217 votes needed for a formal House floor vote.

Following the second vote, lawmakers broke for the weekend, with uncertainty regarding the upcoming schedule. Rep. Mark Alford, R-Texas, mentioned a floor vote on Jordan’s speakership scheduled for Tuesday, but plans remained fluid as members left the Capitol.

Scalise, the GOP majority leader from Louisiana, withdrew his nomination the previous evening when it became evident that he lacked the GOP votes required to secure the speakership in a floor vote.

Scalise stated, “Our conference still has to come together and is not there. There are still some people that have their own agendas. And it was very clear we have to have everybody put their agendas on the side and focus on what this country needs.”

Earlier, House Republicans had nominated Scalise, following his 113-to-99 victory against Jordan in a closed-door internal party vote.

Jim Jordan

Jordan later endorsed Scalise and urged Republican lawmakers to support him. However, some GOP House members insisted on voting for Jordan on the House floor, effectively preventing Scalise from becoming the speaker.

The House has been without a leader for over a week following the removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California by a group of eight Republicans led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. This leadership vacuum has left the House unable to address critical matters such as President Joe Biden’s calls for “urgent action” on security assistance for Israel and passing spending legislation to prevent a government shutdown by November 17.

On Friday, GOP lawmakers proposed various plans to resolve the impasse, but it remains uncertain whether any of these proposals can secure enough votes to become a reality. Rep. Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania suggested a Scalise-Jordan leadership team, while Rep. Tom McClintock of California advocated for reinstating McCarthy, who faced a challenging path to his election as speaker in January.

Republican lawmakers expressed frustration with the ousting of McCarthy and criticized the eight Republicans who led the no-confidence vote, while Democrats refused to intervene to save McCarthy’s speakership, leading to his downfall. Rep. Mike Lawler of New York described McCarthy’s removal as the “single most destructive thing” he has witnessed in politics.

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