After receiving two powerful endorsements, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is poised to become the next House speaker. Trump endorsed Jordan last week, and now Fox News is reporting that former speaker Kevin McCarthy is backing him.
Jordan announced that he was re-entering the race for speaker Friday morning after Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) threw in the towel.
Scalise dropped out of the race last night when it became clear that he couldn’t get the 217 votes needed to replace Rep. McCarthy (R-Calif.). Now, Jordan appears to be the favorite in the aftermath of McCarthy’s historic ouster from the speakership.
According to Fox News reporter Aishah Hasnie, McCarthy announced today that he is supporting Jordan.
MCCARTHY says he is supporting JORDAN
— Aishah Hasnie (@aishahhasnie) October 13, 2023
Jordan is the deputy chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and is frequently depicted as a “political flamethrower” in the media. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to lock up all the votes needed to secure the speakership, given the Republicans’ razer-thin majority.
Only five GOP members are needed to block Jordan in a House floor vote, and a handful of moderate Republicans have already said they won’t vote for Jordan, including Reps. Ann Wagner of Missouri, Austin Scott of Georgia, and Don Bacon of Nebraska. Complicating matters, some GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida, have reportedly pledged to vote only for McCarthy for House speaker.
A Capitol Hill source told Punchbowl News reporter Mica Soellner on Friday that “there is a contingency of moderates that remain firmly opposed to a Jim Jordan speakership. Swaying them will be an uphill battle for Jordan.”
The reporter also said “some moderates are upset that Dusty Johnson [R-S.D.] will give a nominating speech for Jordan.”
Per a source: “There is a contingency of moderates that remain firmly opposed to a Jim Jordan speakership. Swaying them will be an uphill battle for Jordan.”
I’m told some moderates are upset that Dusty Johnson will give a nominating speech for Jordan…
— Mica Soellner (@MicaSoellnerDC) October 13, 2023
Jordan, however, remains immensely popular with the base of the party.
Steve Scalise resigned from the Speaker’s race today. It’s time to elect Jim Jordan as Speaker of the House. America agrees. pic.twitter.com/FZdZuz2Mir
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) October 13, 2023
As he was heading into a House GOP Conference meeting setting the rules on electing the next speaker Friday morning, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) told the press that Republicans were “very close” to choosing Jordan, but there were still a few holdouts who needed to talked with individually.
Democrats are backing House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, of New York, for speaker.
The House Republican conference voted this afternoon to nominate Jordan as Speaker of the House in a secret vote of 124-81.
For Jordan to become speaker, he will still have to garner an overwhelming majority of House Republican support to get to the magic number of 217 in a floor vote. It’s worth noting that Jordan got eleven more votes for Speaker designate than Steve Scalise did.