Hardline Republican Representative Jim Jordan, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, is running to be the next House speaker after Kevin McCarthy’s ouster, he told reporters Wednesday.
(Bloomberg) — Hardline Republican Representative Jim Jordan, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, is running to be the next House speaker after Kevin McCarthy’s ouster, he told reporters Wednesday.
Jordan told reporters he would block new Ukraine aid as speaker, a position that would likely doom billions in funding sought for Kyiv by the White House.
“The most pressing issue on Americans’ minds is not Ukraine,” Jordan said. “It is the border situation and crime on the streets.”
Jordan, the bombastic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is one of the leaders of the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
Jordan is expected to be one of several potential candidates — including Steve Scalise, who has served as House majority leader this year — to make their case to a closed-door lunch at the Capitol Wednesday with Texas Republicans.
Jordan’s conservative record, which was spelled out in a letter to colleagues announcing his bid, could make it hard to garner the support of Republican moderates. But it will earn him votes from at least some of the hard-right dissidents who voted McCarthy out of the speakership Tuesday.
In addition, Jordan has been accused by former Ohio State University wrestlers of ignoring complaints made to him while he was an assistant coach there three decades ago that team doctor Richard Strauss engaged in sexual misconduct and improprieties with student athletes. Jordan has denied that any such misconduct was reported to him.
“The key is uniting the conference,” Jordan said. “I’ve had a lot of people reach out to us asking me to do it, because I think we can,” he said of getting a majority of the House to vote him in.
Jordan, an Ohio Republican, said he hasn’t thought about raising the threshold of members needed to topple the speaker, a move some McCarthy allies have proposed. Jordan said the choice would be up to Republicans.
–With assistance from Billy House and Laura Litvan.
(Adds Ukraine aid comments in second paragraph)
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