After Jordan’s fall, House Republicans ask who and what will be next | ET REALITY


Representative Jim Jordan was overthrown by a revolt by government supporters.

Withstanding intense pressure, a solid bloc of more traditional Republicans, many of them with military and executive experience and a desire to legislate rather than blow things up, pushed the party in its direction. They believed that installing Jordan, a far-right Ohioan and political fighter, would reward colleagues who had played dirty by unseating Speaker Kevin McCarthy and undermining the candidacy of Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

They were especially upset that Scalise, the No. 2 Republican, defeated Jordan, the Judiciary Committee chairman, in the party’s initial vote to choose a replacement for McCarthy, only to then see Jordan’s allies immediately pivot. deny Mr. Scalise the speaker’s position on the floor. Anti-Jordan lawmakers then found themselves under withering attack on social media from the right and facing violent threats against them and their families for refusing to vote for Jordan.

It only reinforced resistance among Republicans who consider themselves institutionalists. They insist they just want to legislate in a conservative but orderly manner and escape the chaos that has rocked Republicans for more than two weeks, damaging their image and their prospects of holding the House in next year’s elections.

“These are the people who are the best team players,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., the informal leader of the rule-followers group, said of those who joined him and others in pushing back the nomination. from Jordan. “These are the people who fall on their swords in difficult elections.”

It wasn’t just his tactics that brought down Jordan, who found himself on the wrong side of an unequal secret ballot in which he had to withdraw. It was Mr. Jordan’s ideology and record. Many in the resistance were members of the Appropriations Committee and saw Jordan as a disruptor who had engineered government shutdowns in the past and represented the likelihood of more to come.

They were also people with extensive military backgrounds, such as Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, as well as some with executive experience at high levels of local government, such as Rep. Carlos Giménez of Florida, former Miami Fire Chief and Miami County Mayor. Dade.

“I’m not happy,” said Rep. Don Bacon, R-Nebraska, a former Air Force general who refused to bow to Jordan’s candidacy, saying the electoral process that led to his nomination was tainted and that Jordan himself Jordan had excesses. luggage. “I just didn’t feel like he was right for the leadership role.”

But the decision to wipe the slate clean and start over by trying to elect a president again starting Monday has not stopped the Republican chaos. Nor is a weekend period of reflection likely to heal the deep wounds caused by internal turmoil. Those who supported Jordan as his best chance for the far-right to take control of the House were furious as they stormed out of the Capitol on Friday.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who sparked the tumult with his successful overthrow of McCarthy, said Jordan had been “stabbed by secret ballot, anonymously, in a closed-door meeting in the bowels of the Capitol.”

There are also deep ideological differences among House Republicans that must be overcome somehow: Some of the more traditional members are eager to pass spending bills that can be negotiated with the Senate and the White House, while those of extreme right want to use their influence to promote extremely conservative policies with no chance of becoming law.

The end of Jordan’s candidacy also sparked what could be the most open speaking competition in recent memory. The top contenders for that position are usually pretty obvious. It is clear that this time is not the case.

The explosion of potential candidates after Jordan’s withdrawal made it clear that Republicans were going to have to examine a large field on an abbreviated timeline.

Many of those who announce or take the pulse of their colleagues about a candidacy are little known outside their districts or are chairmen of committees without a national profile. His background raised the question of who had the level of experience and legislative acumen to take on not only the House Republicans’ own rogue members, but also Senate Democrats and the Biden administration. The president also often serves as the chief fundraiser for the party’s campaign operation in the House of Representatives, not to mention that he is in the constitutional line of succession to the nation’s highest office.

“On a very serious note, we’re talking about the third person in line to the presidency,” said McCarthy, who lost his job earlier this month. “A lot of people here who might put their name to it might not have the knowledge of what it takes.”

“I’m worried about where we go from here,” he said.

Still, Republicans said they believed they could and would do so quickly, particularly in light of the administration’s request for new funding for conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East and the rapidly approaching Nov. 17 deadline. to decide how to finance the federal government. .

“There is still a huge pool of talent, people who love this country and understand the need for us to address things like the border and the impending government shutdown,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota and leader of the Main Street Party. . Caucus, a group of more pragmatic and business-oriented Republicans.

With so many interested, it is difficult to assess who might emerge from a group of House Republicans severely divided by serious ideological disputes, differences over the role and scope of government, and even generational disputes over how to participate in contemporary politics.

And being elected speaker, something that turned out to be out of reach for two of the most experienced House Republicans after McCarthy’s fall, is just the beginning. Any new president will have to find a way to advance spending bills that have been bogged down in Republican infighting and handle the new administration’s spending request that will again underscore the Republican divide over assistance to Ukraine.

Whether anyone can unite House Republicans to address these difficult issues after what has happened in recent weeks is a legitimate question.

“I’ve heard it said in our conference that Jesus can’t get to 217,” said Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., a supporter of Jordan, referring to the number of votes needed to become president, while Republicans have just 221 seats. “And I also heard that no one can reach 217.”

That proposal will now be tested again.

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