Representative Jim Jordan tried to rally support for his bid to be House speaker early Friday despite entrenched opposition within his party, a group so riven by divisions that they have been unable to choose a leader for more than two weeks.
(Bloomberg) — Representative Jim Jordan tried to rally support for his bid to be House speaker early Friday despite entrenched opposition within his party, a group so riven by divisions that they have been unable to choose a leader for more than two weeks.
“I think the American people are thirsty for change,” Jordan, a loyalist to former President Donald Trump, told reporters at the Capitol in explaining his decision to carry on with his bid.
The Ohio Republican has called for a third round of voting after failing to secure support earlier in the week amid concerns about his hardball tactics and hardline positions. His spokesman said Thursday a floor vote was planned for 10 a.m. Friday.
Jordan suggested that the House would remain in through the weekend to elect a speaker.
“He should just keep going,” said Scott Perry, chairman of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, which Jordan helped found. “They will come around.”
The speaker’s office has been vacant since Kevin McCarthy was ousted by GOP dissidents on October 3, leaving the House paralyzed. Lawmakers have been unable to address aid for Israel in its war with Hamas or consider funding measures to avoid an impending mid-November US government shutdown.
Jordan said he would evaluate Biden’s pending request for $100 billion in aid to Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and border security —suggesting he could be open to some version of it. He said Israel certainly needs aid.
Jordan’s path to the speakership is unclear with many opponents insisting they will not change their votes. Several other lawmakers said they expected the House to work into the weekend on the speaker issue.
“The reality of it is, we all told him we were solid nos. That was the discussion,” Vern Buchanan, a Florida Republican, said after meeting with Jordan on Thursday. “Now he’s got a decision to make.”
Jordan had earlier sought to delay a new vote on his own speaker bid by expanding caretaker speaker Patrick McHenry’s powers so that the House could resume business. Such a move would have allowed Jordan months to muster support from GOP lawmakers.
But that idea collapsed under fierce backlash from a number of conservative Republicans.
“Over half the Republicans in the room won’t vote for it,” Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, a conservative who is running for a Senate seat, said Thursday. “It’s a historic mistake.”
–With assistance from Maeve Sheehey.
(Updates starting in fourth paragraph)
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