Jim Jordan narrows gap to securing Speakership

October 16, 2023

House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-AL) said Monday he would support Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for the Speakership.

The announcement is a turnaround for Rogers, who last week had voiced intense opposition to Jordan, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. 

“[Jim Jordan] and I have had two cordial, thoughtful, and productive conversations over the past two days. We agreed on the need for Congress to pass a strong NDAA, appropriations to fund our government’s vital functions, and other important legislation like the Farm Bill,” Rogers wrote Monday on social media.

However, Jordan still faces a steep uphill battle to winning the gavel, according to CNN, which reported Monday that roughly 40 House Republicans remain committed to voting against him. 

There are a total of 221 Republicans in the House, giving Republicans a mere five-seat majority over the Democrats, who are almost certain to vote en mass for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) when the formal vote takes place—just as they did in January when Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) underwent a near-historic 15 rounds of voting before taking the gavel.

The House voted to oust McCarthy from the Speakership on October 3, with eight Republicans siding with all Democrats in a vote of no confidence. 

Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) entered the race for the Speakership on Friday, after House Minority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) withdrew his name Thursday night as his ability to secure the needed 217 votes among Republicans had grown increasingly difficult.

Following a closed-door meeting Wednesday, House Republicans had nominated Scalise by a vote of 113-99 over Jordan. 

Jordan then beat Scott in a closed door vote Friday 124-81—still far below the number necessary for him to secure the Speakership. 

The disarray has been occurring as House Republicans are under pressure to move quickly to choose a new leader from members of their own party in the Senate, amid a looming deadline to pass a federal budget for fiscal year 2024 and avoid a government shutdown in mid-November, as well as calls to approve appropriations for additional military aid to Israel and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, some House Republicans have been discussing the possibility of, at least temporarily, giving more powers to Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), whom McCarthy had chosen as Speaker Pro Tempore, a position that’s currently little more than a placeholder in practical terms.

According to The Hill, Jordan allies had waged a public pressure campaign against Rogers to change his mind and support the Ohio Representative. 

Around noon Monday, Jordan told CNN that the full House of Representatives would hold a vote for Speaker at noon Tuesday—whether he had the needed 217 votes or not.

“That’s how our great system works. And we will go the floor tomorrow. It’s not about pressuring anybody just about we got to have a speaker. You can’t open the House and do the work of the American people and help our dearest and closest friend Israel,” Jordan said.

PHOTO: Jim Jordan at House hearing last week

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