House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan responds to a question from the news media as he departs a Republican conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 13 October 2023. EFE/EPA/SHAWN THEW

Jim Jordan chosen as Republican candidate for Speaker of US House of Representatives

Washington, Oct 13 (EFE). – Republican Congressman Jim Jordan got a second chance on Friday when he was chosen by his party as candidate for Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, a position vacant since the ouster of his conservative colleague Kevin McCarthy on October 3.

The House Judiciary Committee chairman had already run in the previous internal vote, which was won by Steve Scalise.

Scalise’s resignation on Thursday reopened the race, in which Jordan won with 124 votes to Austin Scott’s 81.

In the previous vote, held on Wednesday, Scalise obtained 113 votes and Jordan 99.

However, the narrow margin anticipated that the former was going to have a difficult time and decided to step back, after confirming that in the final vote in the plenary session he was not going to obtain the necessary support.

Scalise was not guaranteed the favor of the most radical wing of the Republican party, the same that promoted the motion against McCarthy, presented by Matt Gaetz.

On Friday, 152 Republicans said they would support Jordan in the possible final vote and another 55 said they would not.

The one who decided in qJordan’s favor immediately after the defeat was Scott: “I have a lot of respect for Jim Jordan. He is an asset to the Republican Party and our nominee for Speaker,” he said on X (formerly Twitter).

When the internal race was between Scalise and Jordan, the latter received the public support of former President Donald Trump (2017-2021).

In 2021, while still in the White House, Trump awarded Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, for being one of his greatest allies in Congress.

The former president later argued that while he liked both, Scalise, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, should focus on his health instead of pursuing “speaker.”

Jordan, 59, a representative of Ohio’s 4th district, claims that he decided to run convinced that there is a need for someone who can “bring the team together” and that he is the right person to repair the rift between radical and moderate Republicans and fulfill the promises made to Americans.

In this possible mandate, he has also promised to protect the moderates and not put them in difficult situations, unlike McCarthy, who was forced to make concessions under pressure from the most radical wing.

Now that he has been nominated, a new period of negotiations will begin, during which he will have to try to secure 217 votes before submitting his candidacy to a vote of the entire chamber.

The Democrats have proposed their leader in the House, Hakeem Jeffries, who also ran for the chairmanship of the institution last January against McCarthy.

Jeffries accused Jordan today of failing to pass any legislation in his 16 years in Congress because he focused on conspiracy theories and promoting division among Americans.

The interim presidency is currently occupied by conservative Patrick McHenry, but until there is a new “speaker” no new resolutions or bills can be approved.

The standstill has come at a time when the budgets for the current fiscal year must be closed and when more aid to Ukraine or Israel is pending authorization.

“House Republicans remain as divided as ever and are leaving Washington for the weekend without electing a new Speaker of the House, paralyzing Congress for the 10th day,” the Democratic National Committee criticized in a statement Friday.

It also pointed out that “chaos” has been installed in the lower house while the country’s allies need “strong and firm” leadership. EFE