Update 10/23/23: Jim Jordan is out of the race for Speaker after several attempts to gather a vote. A new GOP candidate will step up and be voted on at some point.
Now that former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is gone and Louisiana Republican and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has dropped out of consideration for the role, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is the favorite for the Speaker of the House position. He is backed by Trump, has strong conservative credentials, and is generally viewed by members of the party as being thoughtful and reasoned in his approach to politics.
However, he is also a stronger conservative than many and a member of the House Freedom Caucus, so the usual RINO types are throwing up roadblocks and trying to find someone more moderate with which to fill McCarthy’s chair, which has so far meant that a suitable candidate has not been found to replace the Speaker pro tempore.
But now Rep. Jordan is looking closer than ever to victory, as one of the fiercely vocal critics of those who got Speaker McCarthy removed, a Republican who was even working with the Democrats to find a “unity” candidate other than Rep. Jordan, has relented and gotten in line behind Rep. Jordan.
That is Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. A vocal foe of Rep. Matt Gaetz’s effort to oust former Speaker McCarthy, Rogers infuriated his deeply red Alabama constituency by working with Democrats to find a “unity” candidate to put in the Speaker’s chair instead of Jordan.
But then he backed down on that front, as he announced on X (formerly Twitter), writing, “.@Jim_Jordan and I have had two cordial, thoughtful, and productive conversations over the past two days. We agreed on the need for Congress to pass a strong NDAA, appropriations to fund our government’s vital functions, and other important legislation like the Farm Bill.”
Continuing, Rep. Rogers said that he had decided to back Rep. Jordan thanks to those conversations about the defense needs and farmer legislation, writing, “As a result, I have decided to support Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House on the floor.”
Concluding, he said, “Since I was first elected to the House, I have always been a team player and supported what the majority of the Republican Conference agrees to. Together, our Republican majority will be stronger to fight Joe Biden’s reckless agenda for America.”
Rep. Rogers wasn’t the only holdout that Rep. Jordan won over. He also won the vote of Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri, who previously called Jordan a “non-starter” for speaker. Though that comment came just last week, she already changed her mind, as she announced in a statement about the defense needs of the country and how she thinks Rep. Jordan will do what is necessary to protect our borders.
She wrote, “Jim Jordan and I spoke at length again this morning, and he has allayed my concerns about keeping the government open with conservative funding, the need for strong border security, our need for consistent international support in times of war and unrest, as well as the need for stronger protections against the scourge of human trafficking and child exploitation. im Jordan is our conference nominee, and I will support his nomination for Speaker on the House floor.”
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