Jordan to seek presidency as Republican infighting escalates | ET REALITY


Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the far-right Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee, was prepared Friday to make another run for president, working hard to unite a Republican Conference mired in chaos after deposing a president and blocking another in line for the presidency. the job.

The candidacy of Jordan, a co-founder of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus and a favorite of former President Donald J. Trump, came as House Republicans were in crisis after a faction of his supporters ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy last week and then resigned. declined to endorse the party’s chosen successor, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, for the job.

“When I decided to run earlier, I waited until the next day,” Jordan told reporters at the Capitol Thursday night. “I’ll do the same thing right now,” he added.

House Republicans were due to meet Friday morning to debate the rules for electing a new speaker, less than a day after the abrupt withdrawal of Scalise, their deputy leader, from consideration.

If Jordan manages to win the nod of his party and obtain a majority in the House of Representatives, he would be second in line for the presidency, capping a remarkable rise for a Republican firebrand popular among the party’s far-right base. whose combative style and distaste for compromise have tormented previous Republican speakers.

It was unclear whether any other contender would emerge to challenge Jordan. Scalise had edged him out during an intraparty contest Wednesday by just 14 votes. But instead of consolidating his narrow base of supporters, Scalise almost immediately began losing supporters, as lawmakers from various factions said they had no intention of lining up behind him.

Jordan and his supporters hoped to avoid a similar fate and immediately began calling on Republicans to join him shortly after Scalise’s withdrawal.

But top Republicans are worried about Jordan. Several said they did not want to reward his supporters who refused to honor Scalise’s nomination.

Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri called Jordan’s candidacy “a failure.” Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska, who represents a district won by President Biden, said lawmakers were worried about bowing to the whims of far-right members who had refused to back Scalise.

“The fact is, if you reward bad behavior, you’ll get more,” Bacon said.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, a Jordan supporter, acknowledged there were Republicans who wouldn’t support him “because they don’t want to reward that behavior.”

But he argued that Jordan should not be judged by the behavior of his most ardent supporters and warned that winning a majority would be difficult for any Republican.

“I don’t think anyone has 217,” Armstrong said.

Other options were discussed. McCarthy did not rule out returning to the presidency and said he would “let the conference decide” whether he would reinstate him to the position.

And Rep. Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina, who was named acting speaker after McCarthy’s ouster, was also talked about as a potential candidate.

Some members, anticipating a fight that could last weeks, were also discussing how they could give McHenry – whose role is primarily to hold an election for a speaker – more power to carry out the work of the chamber until the conflict could be resolved.

“There is a massive recognition in that room that we need to get a speaker, and we need to stay here in Washington until we get one. The world is on fire,” said Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky, a Scalise supporter. “We cannot allow this dysfunction to prevent us from doing the work of the American people. This is not responsible.”

Barr said he was concerned that the Republican Party was destroying itself in the sight of American voters.

“I think members have to understand that they are wasting a majority,” he said.

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