Jordan Remains Committed to House Speakership Race, but Temporary Speaker Plan Meets Resistance

by Joshua Brown
House Speaker bid

Despite sustained efforts, Rep. Jim Jordan communicated to his GOP colleagues on Thursday that he has not abandoned his pursuit of the House Speaker role, leaving the party with limited alternatives. This comes after his staunch supporters rejected an initiative aimed at broadening the temporary speaker’s authority to reconvene the House.

Jordan conveyed his decision during a contentious, private meeting held at the Capitol. During this meeting, the Republican majority was contemplating an exceptional measure that would empower the acting Speaker Pro Tempore with increased responsibilities for several forthcoming months to reconvene the House and conduct essential legislative activities. This is according to anonymous Republicans who were privy to the discussions.

Neither of the two options appears to be immediately feasible. Moderate Republicans, who have twice declined to back Jordan, remain disinclined to do so, particularly in light of reports of intimidation and even death threats from his supporters. Concurrently, Jordan’s right-wing allies are not amenable to the idea of an interim speaker acquiring enhanced powers.

The enduring deadlock threatens to indefinitely halt House proceedings, following the extraordinary removal of Kevin McCarthy from the Speaker position.

Jordan, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and founder of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, stated, “I remain committed to the speakership race and aim to secure sufficient votes to emerge victorious.”

The meeting on Thursday was tense, with various Republican factions pointing fingers at each other for plunging their majority into disarray.

In an episode during the meeting, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida was interrupted by McCarthy when attempting to speak, asserting that it wasn’t Gaetz’s turn to talk.

Amidst the ongoing disarray, Rep. Patrick McHenry, the temporary House leader, has been in discussions with Jordan. Republicans had considered elevating McHenry to an enhanced role of Speaker temporarily, but this idea found little traction.

Legislative activity remained stalled on Thursday, casting uncertainty over the House’s immediate agenda.

Growing frustration among Republican ranks is apparent, with increasing realization setting in that the House may remain at a standstill for an extended period, escalating the Republican majority’s disarray.

Rep. Tom Cole, a seasoned Republican legislator, commented, “We are exploring ways to resolve this through a GOP-centric solution, which is customary for normal majorities. Unfortunately, this majority has proven to be anything but normal.”

Efforts to expand McHenry’s powers as Speaker have been largely unsuccessful, and he himself has downplayed any ambition for a permanent role, stating that his objective is to facilitate the election of the next Speaker.

As the Republicans struggle to identify a path forward, looming over them is a mid-November deadline for congressional funding, which, if not met, could result in a federal government shutdown.

It is increasingly apparent that Jordan’s prospects of attaining the Speaker role are diminishing. He lost a crucial second ballot on Wednesday, with even more Republicans opposing him than in the first round.

While Jordan has received support from influential figures within the party, including former President Trump, it has been insufficient to sway the necessary number of GOP votes. Several lawmakers reported receiving death threats as a result of not supporting him.

“The feasible way out is for Jim Jordan to withdraw his candidacy,” stated Rep. Don Bacon, who voted against him twice.

With a narrow Republican majority in the House, it seems improbable that any GOP candidate could secure the required number of votes for the speakership.

The idea of elevating the interim Speaker’s role had received some high-profile backing, including from former GOP Speakers Newt Gingrich and John Boehner, but even this appears to be losing momentum as Republican unity remains elusive.

Jordan, a committed ally of former President Trump, particularly during the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, has been in office since 2006 but has few legislative achievements. He also faces scrutiny related to his past, including allegations related to his tenure as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University, which he has denied.

Contributions to this report were made by Kevin Freking and Mary Clare Jalonick of Big Big News.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about House Speaker race

What is the primary focus of the text?

The primary focus of the text is the ongoing struggle within the Republican party concerning the election of a new House Speaker. Rep. Jim Jordan remains committed to pursuing the role, despite facing resistance from within his own party.

Who is Rep. Jim Jordan?

Rep. Jim Jordan is a Republican Congressman from Ohio, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and founder of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus. He has expressed a continued interest in running for the position of House Speaker.

Why is there resistance to Jim Jordan’s candidacy for House Speaker?

Moderate Republicans have twice rejected Jordan’s candidacy, and there are reports of intimidation and even death threats from his supporters against those who oppose him. Additionally, some consider him too extreme for such a pivotal role.

What was the extraordinary plan involving Patrick McHenry?

The extraordinary plan involved elevating Rep. Patrick McHenry to an enhanced role of Speaker Pro Tempore with expanded powers for several months, aimed at bringing the House back into session and conducting essential legislative activities.

What is the current status of the House of Representatives?

The House is currently in a state of deadlock, with the majority Republicans unable to elect a new Speaker. This has led to legislative inactivity and leaves the House without clear direction for the foreseeable future.

What is the significance of the mid-November deadline?

The mid-November deadline refers to the time by which Congress must approve funding to avoid a federal government shutdown. The inability to elect a Speaker adds another layer of uncertainty to this already critical deadline.

What role does former President Trump play in this situation?

Former President Donald Trump has expressed support for Jim Jordan’s candidacy for House Speaker. However, this support has not been sufficient to secure the required number of votes from GOP members.

Are there any allegations against Jim Jordan?

Yes, Jim Jordan faces scrutiny related to his past, including allegations that he was aware of inappropriate conduct while serving as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. Jordan has denied these allegations.

What options are left for the Republican majority?

The options appear to be limited. Neither the plan to elect Jordan nor the plan to expand McHenry’s powers as an interim Speaker has gained sufficient support. This leaves the Republican majority in a state of uncertainty and dysfunction.

More about House Speaker race

  • Jim Jordan’s Congressional Profile
  • Overview of the House Freedom Caucus
  • The Role of the House Speaker
  • Profile of Rep. Patrick McHenry
  • Understanding the Congressional Funding Deadline
  • Allegations Against Jim Jordan Explained
  • The Trump-Jordan Connection
  • Former Speakers Gingrich and Boehner’s Take on the Situation
  • The Republican Majority in the House
  • Kevin McCarthy’s Ouster as Speaker

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Emily_1985 October 20, 2023 - 11:24 am

This is crazy. They got majority but still can’t function like a normal majority? lol what a joke.

Michael_R October 20, 2023 - 12:56 pm

Didn’t expect McHenry to be in the middle of all this. Thought he was more lowkey. Surprised to see him in such a pivotal role now.

Jane_Smith October 20, 2023 - 1:18 pm

Honestly, what’s happening in the House is a microcosm of the country’s divide. They can’t agree on anything.

John_Doe October 20, 2023 - 1:38 pm

Wow, the GOP is in shambles huh? Can’t even elect a speaker. Jordan is really stirring the pot.

Cryptic_Cynic October 20, 2023 - 5:01 pm

Jordan with Trump backing still not enough? Shows you how divided even the party base is.

Tech_Guru October 20, 2023 - 5:57 pm

reading this, cant help but think how this deadlock is gonna affect the markets. A government shutdown on top of this would be catastrophic.

Political_Thinker October 20, 2023 - 8:13 pm

If they can’t even decide on a Speaker, how are they gonna pass any significant legislation? doesn’t bode well for the mid-November deadline.

Rachel_G October 20, 2023 - 8:15 pm

Death threats over a speaker vote? This is getting out of hand. something needs to be done, and fast.

Tim_in_Texas October 20, 2023 - 8:18 pm

Y’all see that part about Gingrich and Boehner? Even they’re stepping in. You know things must be bad.

Sara_P October 20, 2023 - 10:21 pm

McCarthy out, now this chaos? GOP needs to get their act together, like yesterday.


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