Jim Jordan Stays Firm in Speaker Fight: ‘I Plan to Win This Race’

Despite facing increasing opposition, Representative Jim Jordan remained resolute in his bid to become the House Speaker leading up to a critical Friday vote.

The House was set to convene on Friday morning for Jordan’s third attempt to secure the gavel, aiming to replace the former Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California who was removed from the position.

Speaking from the Capitol during an early morning press conference, Jordan, who represents Ohio, emphasized the desire for change among the American people. Drawing from his Ohio roots, he linked his bid to a lineage of American innovators, such as the Wright brothers, urging his colleagues to support his candidacy for the speakership.

“We must roll up our sleeves and begin working for the American people,” he asserted.

Jordan, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, declared, “I am still in the race for Speaker, and my plan is to secure the necessary votes and emerge victorious.”

However, Jordan’s opponents argue that his chances of success this time around appear dimmer than in previous attempts. The Republican majority has struggled to coalesce around Jordan or any other candidate to replace McCarthy, who was removed from office by a faction of party members on October 3rd. Additionally, they have failed to reach a consensus on an alternative plan that would enable the chamber to address legislative matters.

In both Tuesday and Wednesday votes, Jordan fell short of the 217 votes required to claim the Speaker’s position.

On Thursday, Jordan held a private meeting with some of the 22 Republicans who had previously voted against him. However, those who remained opposed, despite some having received threats, remained steadfast in their decision.

Representative Vern Buchanan of Florida summarized the meeting by stating, “We all informed him that we remain firmly opposed. That was the outcome. Now, the ball is in his court.”

With Republicans holding a 221-212 majority in the House, Jordan has not been able to secure more than 200 votes in his favor thus far. A third unsuccessful vote could lead Jordan to withdraw, paving the way for other candidates to step forward.

Meanwhile, Republicans remain divided regarding a backup plan that could allow the chamber to address urgent matters, including President Biden’s aid package and spending legislation crucial for the government to continue functioning beyond a November 17th deadline.

This alternative proposal would grant additional authority to Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, who currently occupies the Speaker’s chair on a temporary basis. While House Democrats and the White House have expressed openness to this idea, Republicans rejected it during a closed-door meeting on Thursday.

The impasse highlights the rift between Republicans who seek to work within the established norms of Washington politics and a more uncompromising faction on the far-right, which has pushed the U.S. government perilously close to default and the brink of a government shutdown.

Investors have expressed concern that the turmoil on Capitol Hill is contributing to market volatility, with Representative Kat Cammack of Florida remarking, “People are truly grappling with how to unify around an institution that has inflicted this self-inflicted wound upon itself.”

Jim Jordan has built his reputation as a leader within the unyielding right-wing faction. Supporters argue that this background positions him as an effective advocate for conservative policies in a political landscape where Democrats control both the Senate and the White House.

In his role as the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Jordan is currently at the forefront of an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.