Jim Jordan Unpauses His Speaker Campaign

They’re planning to vote again…

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, arrives for the Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023Alex Brandon/AP

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Update, October 19, 2:47 pm ET: Never mind, apparently he’s going to try again!

Unless Jim Jordan dresses up as the top House Republican for Halloween, it looks like he won’t be holding the speaker’s gavel anytime soon. After two rounds of voting over the past few days, Jordan failed to scrape together enough support from his fellow Republicans to become speaker of the House. Now, after deciding to forego a third (and likely humiliating) vote, he’s instead backing a plan to give increased authority to Rep. Patrick McHenry—who temporarily became speaker after Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted—until January 3, according to CBS.

Jordan’s indignities haven’t been limited to the House floor. On Wednesday, during an interview with C-SPAN, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) blasted Jordan for having failed to pass a single bill as a primary sponsor in his 16 years of being a congressman.

“We’re looking at electing a person who would be second in line to the presidency who’s never passed a bill,” said Romney. “But he’s certainly well known because he’s able to make a lot of noise.”

Jordan, a polarizing figure in the GOP,  has definitely made his fair share of noise in the past few years. In 2020, the Ohio representative backed former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the election. As my colleague Dan Friedman has reported, many of Jordan’s  associates have turned a blind eye to his efforts to dismantle democracy, in favor of what the prospective speaker could theoretically do for them: 

Some Republicans who initially balked at backing Jordan agreed to vote for him after he reportedly suggested he would allow passage of the annual farm bill, despite his long record of opposing such legislation. Similarly, Jordan seems to have won some support by indicating to GOP lawmakers that he would not to block legislation providing aid for Ukraine and Israel, meaning the he would allow a bill to pass with bipartisan support, despite his past opposition to supplemental aid for Ukraine. 

But what the Republican converts did not get from Jordan—or, as far we know, even seek—is any explanation regarding his efforts to help Trump retain power after voters elected Joe Biden.

According to reports from CBS, Jordan will continue to campaign for speaker until January. However, the real question is: If he ever does win, will he break McCarthy’s record of needing 15 rounds of voting to secure the top job? I guess only time will tell. 

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