The crisis in the Middle East and the Israel-Hamas war have dominated the news cycle, as they should, but there’s also a serious drama playing out here in the U.S.—the continued battle for the Speaker of the House position.
We’ve seen Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) voted out of the job due to a rebellion by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), followed by his former number two man, House Majority leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), who dropped out of the running because he didn’t see a clear path to victory. That leaves Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) as perhaps the strongest remaining candidate, but there’s no guarantee he’ll win the gavel.
The vote is coming up soon, though: the House will next vote to choose a new speaker on Tuesday at approximately 12:00 p.m., No. 2 House Democrat Katherine Clark (D-MA) said on Sunday. This could go on for a while—after all, it took 15 ballots to confirm McCarthy last January:
As a government shutdown looms in the U.S. and conflict rages in the Middle East, House Republicans struggled through the weekend to name their next speaker.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio on Friday won the GOP nomination for the key role, but fell far short of the 217 votes needed to seal the deal in a House floor vote…
“There’s no positive messages here,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.), who supports Jordan, told CNN’s “State of the Union on Sunday.” “I don’t want to give everybody the impression that it’s a giant crisis, either.
“This is democracy. Democracy is always pretty messy,” he continued. “I think what the real problem is is that we’ve allowed a different process of democracy to take hold within our own conference, which is that majority doesn’t rule … It’s not pretty.”
Pundits are weighing in on all sides:
The tweet continues:
He’s the only person with a chance of making it to 217 votes. We are going to see firsthand which House Republicans vote for a conservative Speaker. Or if their desire to give endless amounts of money to Ukraine, to placate DC special interests, or just their personal spite outweighs having a working GOP majority again. Republicans voters will certainly be made aware on which side their representatives stood.
Attorney Harmeet Dhillon also posted her thoughts:
Republican activists & volunteers I hear from want the House to seat @Jim_Jordan as Speaker & move the people’s business forward ASAP. Anyone making deals w/Dems out of petty jealousy or ego, is betraying his voters & should get a different job pronto! Lead, follow, or get out!
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) October 14, 2023
Of course, not everyone is on board or this would be a done deal. Some members are talking about making a compromise deal with the Democrats:
Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama is “aggressively” trying to make a deal with Democrats instead of voting in favor of Rep. Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House.
Call his offices and DEMAND Rogers reverse course!
(202) 225-3261 pic.twitter.com/yNy1kaiwZf
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) October 14, 2023
Jordan is maintaining optimism about his chances, despite the fact that over 50 GOP lawmakers signaled in a secret ballot vote on Friday that they won’t support him.
But Jordan is voicing confidence that he’ll be able to avoid becoming the latest Republican to be rejected by an increasingly divided conference, where frustrations remain high after eight GOP lawmakers joined with Democrats to oust McCarthy and Majority Leader Steve Scalise scrapped his own speaker bid less than 48 hours after a majority of the conference picked him as their next leader.
“We think we’re going to get 217,” Jordan said in a brief interview.
It’s going to be an interesting week.