Jim Jordan: WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Republican Jim Jordan will try to claim the speakership of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday in a vote that could elevate a belligerent right-wing figure to one of the most powerful posts in Washington.
US House to vote on Republican Jim Jordan
When the House meets at noon EDT (1600 GMT) to fill a leadership post that has been vacant for two weeks, an Ohio lawmaker who has spent years battling with his own party leaders could find himself in a position that puts him in second place. for the presidency.
Jordan is receiving support from his fellow Republicans, but Tuesday morning appeared to still be 217 votes short of what he needs to win the job.
“I felt good walking into the conference; I feel better now,” Jordan, 59, told reporters Monday evening after meeting with House Republicans for two hours.
After Kevin McCarthy was deposed as speaker by a tiny group of his fellow Republicans on October 3, party infighting has prevented the House from taking up pressing issues like funding for the US government and support for Israel and the Ukraine.
Jordan, a founder of the hard-right US House Freedom Caucus, has been seen as a divisive force on Capitol Hill for much of his career, at odds with Republicans and Democrats alike. Still, he won the Republican nomination for speaker last Friday and solidified support from former opponents in the party.
Republicans control the House by a narrow margin of 221-212, and all Democrats are expected to vote against him. At least seven Republicans are expected to vote against Jordan, falling short of the 217 votes he needs.
Jordan on Tuesday picked up the support of at least one lawmaker who was non-committal about his bid.
The People’s House must immediately resume its job. Today we vote for Speaker to get the Legislature back to work, I’ll be voting for @Jim_Jordan,” Representative Juan Siscomani said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
In an effort to force Republican holdouts to fall into line, Jordan is expected to hold multiple rounds of voting if he doesn’t succeed early on. A similar dynamic played out in January, when McCarthy needed 15 rounds of voting to win the speaker’s chair.
Jordan’s allies have also urged conservative voters to pressure their opponents.
Rep. Mark Molinaro, a Republican from New York, said, “My office has been inundated with calls overwhelmingly in support of Jim… not from all constituents.”
Jordan’s supporters say he will be an effective advocate for spending cuts and other Republican priorities in negotiations with Democratic President Joe Biden and the Senate, which is also controlled by Democrats.
“Jim’s a tough guy and he’s going to push our conservative agenda through America,” said Republican Representative Mark Alford.
‘Doing Trump’s Bidding’
Democrats have jumped back at Jordan’s candidacy, portraying him as an extremist who would take orders from former President Donald Trump.
“Their agenda is simple: do Trump’s bidding to decriminalize abortion, cut Social Security and Medicare, and undermine democracy,” Democratic Representative Ted Lieu wrote on social media.
Jordan approaches the job from a very different angle than other congressional leaders, who typically wield influence by raising money and keeping their party together.
A fixture on conservative media outlets, Jordan expanded on Trump’s false claims of election fraud in 2020. As chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee, he is helping lead an impeachment inquiry against Biden that Democrats say is baseless.
He helped found the US House Freedom Caucus, which then-Speaker John Boehner called a “legislative terrorist” before members of that group forced him to retire. Jim Jordan was the architect of government shutdowns in 2013 and 2018.
Jordan had a more productive relationship with McCarthy, pushed by a small group of Republican rebels.
Republicans nominated Steve Scalise to succeed McCarthy last week, but he dropped his bid after he was unable to rally support — a development that some Republicans blame on Jordan and his supporters.
“We have a minority from a majority and that is unacceptable,” said Representative Don Bacon, who planned to vote against Jordan.
Republican rivals have named a number of backup candidates in case Jim Jordan bid for speaker falters, including Acting Speaker Patrick McHenry and Tom Emmer, the third-place House Republican.
Before entering politics, Jordan served as the wrestling coach at Ohio State University. That past threatened his political career in 2018 when former students accused him of turning a blind eye to rampant sexual abuse of college wrestlers by a wrestling team doctor, while Jordan was an assistant coach.
Jim Jordan denied all allegations, and a university investigation found no hard evidence that he knew about the abuse.