As rumors swirled about potential nominees to replace U.S. Rep Kevin McCarthy as House speaker, one Republican conference member confirmed his eye on the gavel with an impassioned letter.
“We are at a critical crossroad in our nation’s history.”
After nine months and one historic vote making California Rep. McCarthy the first speaker to be vacated by Congress, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan let it be known Wednesday that he was not only up for the task, he was asking for support.
With a growing list of nominees carrying varying degrees of potential to garner the necessary votes, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee who’s been at the center of investigations into the weaponization of government and the alleged criminal behavior of President Joe Biden emphatically threw his hat into the ring.
“We are at a critical crossroad in our nation’s history. Now is the time for our Republican conference to come together to keep our promises to Americans. The problems we face are challenging, but they are not insurmountable,” he wrote. “We can focus on the changes that improve the country and unite us in offering real solutions. But no matter what we do, we must do it together as a conference.”
“I respectfully ask for your support for Speaker of House of Representatives,” stated Jordan.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 4, 2023
Initially, the Ohio congressman had reacted to McCarthy’s ouster by calling the motion “unfair” and declined a forthright answer on his own consideration for the role by saying “that’s a decision for the conference.”
As Jordan laid out the damage done by “progressive policies…destroying our communities, our security, and our future” and his own work throughout the 118th Congress toward efforts “to secure the border and protect our national security,” he was not without contenders for the top spot in the legislature.
With the House gaveled out until a candidate forum planned for Tuesday and an election for a new speaker the next day, Fox News indicated that other top members in the GOP were under serious review.
Considered a frontrunner because of his next-in-line status as Republican Majority Leader, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise was favored to be nominated, though some concern was expressed related to his previously disclosed diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma for which he had already begun to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
Georgia Rep. Austin Scott voiced his support for Scalise to Fox News Digital and said, “I consider him a great friend, and I think he is one of the few people who can effectively lead with a narrow majority through the next 18 months and ultimately secure a larger Republican majority in November 2024.”
Like Jordan who had placed his focus on investigative work during the marathon vote in January to get McCarthy elected, House Majority Whip Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota was said to have been reluctant to be nominated, but now willing.
South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman told Fox News Digital “He didn’t before,” but after Tuesday’s vote, “It’s all happened so quick. Who’d have thought that the vote would have gone down 216 to 210. We thought we had three or four — and I voted for Kevin.”
Speaking for himself on Newsmax Tuesday, leader of the Republican Study Committee Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern had said, “I’ve been asked by many people to consider running. We need somebody who can unite the party, move forward through the appropriations bills, cut the spending, so we get inflation under control…[Americans] want real results and I believe I can deliver those if the people up here want to put me in that place.”
Seemingly certain as others floated the possibility of Conference Chair New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, Speaker Pro Tempore South Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, Freedom Caucus firebrand Texas Rep. Chip Roy and even former President Donald Trump, was that McCarthy would not be vying for a return to the speakership any time soon.
“I believe I can continue to fight maybe in a different manner,” he said Tuesday during a lengthy press conference. “I will not run for speaker again. I’ll have the conference pick somebody else.”
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) October 4, 2023
Meanwhile, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz who filed the motion to vacate the speaker had signaled his own support for his “mentor Jim Jordan” when he reacted to a post from Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, who called his Ohio colleague his “first choice if he will run.”
For his part, with supporters and detractors across the spectrum in the jockeying for a new speaker, Trump has publicly maintained his distance and said in part Wednesday morning as he entered the courtroom for the third day of his civil fraud trial in New York City, “A lot of people have been calling me about speaker. All I can say is we’ll do whatever is best for the country and for the Republican Party.”
“We have some great, great people,” he added before replying to a question on whether he would accept the position, “A lot of people have asked me about it,” but his focus remained on his campaign for the presidency.
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