In a surprising turn of events, House Republicans have nominated Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio as their new nominee for speaker of the House of Representatives. This decision came after Rep. Steve Scalise abandoned his candidacy due to opposition from hard-right members of the GOP. The closed-door internal party vote resulted in Jordan defeating Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia with a vote of 124 to 81. However, it is important to note that Jordan’s nomination did not guarantee his victory, as a second secret ballot vote was conducted to gauge support for him.
The outcome of the second vote revealed that Jordan had secured 152 votes in favor of him and 55 against him. While this may seem like a significant number, it falls far short of the 217 votes he would need in a formal vote on the House floor. This poses a challenge for Jordan, as he must now rally additional support in order to have a chance at becoming the next speaker of the House. Although the exact next steps remain uncertain at this point, a floor vote on Jordan’s speakership has been scheduled for Tuesday.
Rep. Steve Scalise, the GOP majority leader from Louisiana, made the decision to withdraw his nomination on Thursday evening. His withdrawal came after it became clear that he did not have the necessary GOP votes to secure the speakership in a floor vote. Scalise expressed his disappointment, stating that the Republican conference must come together and set aside their personal agendas for the benefit of the country. It is evident that there are still divisions within the GOP, making it difficult to form a unified front.
The House has been without a leader for over a week, leaving Congress in a state of paralysis. The urgent business, such as addressing President Joe Biden’s call for action on security assistance for Israel and passing spending legislation to avoid a government shutdown, remains unresolved. The absence of a House speaker hinders Congress’s ability to respond effectively to pressing matters and fulfill its responsibilities to the American people.
In an attempt to break the impasse, GOP lawmakers have proposed several plans, but it is uncertain whether any of them will garner enough support to become a reality. Rep. Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania has suggested a Scalise-Jordan leadership team, while Rep. Tom McClintock of California advocates for reinstating Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who faced a grueling election process before being elected speaker in January. It is clear that tensions within the Republican Party are high, with some members blaming Rep. Matt Gaetz and the seven other Republicans who ousted McCarthy for the current state of affairs.
The House Republicans’ nomination of Rep. Jim Jordan as their new nominee for speaker of the House has introduced further uncertainty and division within the party. While Jordan may have emerged as the frontrunner in the closed-door internal party vote, he still lacks the necessary support to win a formal vote on the House floor. The leadership void in the House has created a standstill in Congress, preventing urgent matters from being addressed. As the GOP struggles to unite behind a candidate, it is essential for the party to prioritize the needs of the country and work towards a solution that will allow Congress to function effectively once again. Only time will tell how this delicate situation will unfold and who will ultimately become the next speaker of the House.