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If Jordan Is Out, What Next in 'Speaker War?'

If Jordan Is Out, What Next in 'Speaker War?'
 U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, listens as the House of Representatives holds its second round of voting for a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on October 18, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

John Gizzi By Wednesday, 18 October 2023 02:12 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

With four House Republicans who supported Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on Tuesday abandoning him Wednesday for other candidates for speaker of the House, there was mounting speculation that the House Judiciary Committee chairman was finished as a candidate for the House’s top job.

Supporters of Jordan told us he wanted to stay in the race for one more ballot and try to win back some of the 22 Republicans who would not support him.

But given the size of the "No On Jim" votes, that seemed an increasingly uphill climb for the Ohioan.

Should Jordan bow out, the question for the 221 Republicans in the most closely divided House since 1930 would be which member could they turn to who could reach "the magic 217" — the majority needed for someone to wield the speaker’s gavel?

The likeliest scenario, sources within the House GOP Conference told Newsmax shortly after the vote for speaker on Wednesday, was to empower Speaker Pro Tem Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., with the full powers of the office for 15 days.

Under House rules, this would permit the members to proceed with such critical measures as funding the government when the present Continuing Resolution expires next month and aid to Israel in its moment of major crisis.

The problem with this scenario, the same sources agreed, was two-fold: the idea of McHenry as an empowered speaker was originally proposed over the weekend by four Democratic members of the House Problem Solvers Caucus and thus fueled distrust among many Republicans; and McHenry himself (who turns 48 on Sunday) is a "policy guy" who prefers the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee to being "coalition speaker."

The other name increasingly mentioned as temporary speaker is that of House Rules Committee Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla. At 74, 10-termer Cole is well liked by nearly all of his colleagues and also has many friends on the Democratic side of the aisle.

"I would vote for Tom Cole in a minute — after Jim Jordan," Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Penn, told Newsmax shortly after the Wednesday vote.

Should the "temporary speaker" workaround fail to come to fruition, the House GOP Conference would almost certainly try to nominate another candidate.  The names most frequently mentioned are those of House Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota, and House Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern of Oklahoma. 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
With four House Republicans who supported Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on Tuesday abandoning him Wednesday for other candidates for speaker of the House, there was mounting speculation that the House Judiciary Committee chairman was finished as a candidate for the House's top...
jim jordan, rules, mchenry cole, speaker, house
411
2023-12-18
Wednesday, 18 October 2023 02:12 PM
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