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Congressman Jim Jordan Gains Momentum in Bid for U.S. House Speakership

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In the ongoing battle for the speakership of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio has emerged as a prominent figure. Jordan, a favorite of hard-right Republicans, has been vying for the role after Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California was ousted from the position.[0] Despite initially facing opposition from within his party, Jordan has made significant headway in gaining support.

Just a week ago, 55 Republicans stated that they would not support Jordan's bid for speakership.[1] However, as of this afternoon, that number has dwindled to just 20. Jordan managed to flip dozens of holdouts, bringing himself closer to securing the necessary 217 votes to win the speakership.[1] In the latest floor vote, he earned a total of 200 votes.[1]

Jordan's strategy mirrors that of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who took 15 ballots to secure the speakership earlier this year.[1] However, Jordan may not need as many votes to succeed. Unlike the conservatives who overthrew McCarthy, the Republicans who voted against Jordan on the floor have shown a willingness to change their stance. Some have even expressed that they could be persuaded to vote for Jordan or would not stand in his way if he nears the threshold of 217 votes.

While Jordan's bid for speakership may be gaining traction, it is unclear whether he will be able to replicate McCarthy's private lobbying and dealmaking efforts to secure the gavel. Jordan appeared relaxed during the hour-long roll call vote, showing little reaction as his defections mounted. After the vote, he huddled with supporters, including McCarthy, to strategize their next move.[1]

This is not the first time Jordan has made a play for House leadership.[2] In November 2018, following the loss of the House by Republicans and the retirement of then-Speaker Paul Ryan, Jordan ran for minority leader against Kevin McCarthy. However, McCarthy easily won the vote, leaving Jordan far behind.[2] The results were discouraging for the Ohio congressman, with 55 members of the House Republican conference refusing to back him.

Jordan's involvement in the efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election has also come under scrutiny. According to the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Jordan was a “significant player” in Donald Trump's attempts to overturn his election loss to Joe Biden.[3] He was involved in discussions with Trump campaign and White House officials, examining whether Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the election results.[4] Jordan also played a role in organizing congressional opposition to counting Biden's certified electoral votes.

Critics argue that Jordan's efforts were not rooted in legitimate objections but rather aimed at keeping Donald Trump in power against the will of the American people. His prolific spread of misinformation about the election, baseless claims of fraud, and support for outlandish investigations further solidify these allegations.

In addition to his involvement in election-related controversies, Jordan has faced accusations regarding his time as a wrestling coach decades ago. Former wrestlers have accused Jordan of turning a blind eye to the sexual abuse of wrestlers by a team doctor while he served as an assistant wrestling coach.[5] Jordan has consistently denied these allegations.

While Jordan faces criticism and opposition, he continues to rally support from hard-right Republicans. The ongoing battle for the speakership highlights the division within the Republican Party and the challenges they face in electing a new leader.[6] As the House reconvenes to decide their next move, the outcome remains uncertain. Jordan's bid for speakership may continue with multiple ballots as he seeks to secure the necessary votes to win the gavel.

0. “Jim Jordan Loses Speaker Nomination Vote Following Republican Defections” Newsweek, 17 Oct. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/jim-jordan-loses-speaker-nomination-vote-following-republican-defections-1835475

1. “Jim Jordan Doesn't Have the Votes—Yet” The Atlantic, 17 Oct. 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2023/10/jim-jordan-house-speaker-election-vote/675670/

2. “Jim Jordan fails to get votes to become speaker on the first ballot” Vox.com, 17 Oct. 2023, https://www.vox.com/politics/2023/10/17/23919090/jim-jordan-house-speaker-vote-trump-ally-january-6-wrestling-scandal

3. “What to know about Jim Jordan's role in Jan. 6” ABC News, 16 Oct. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/jim-jordans-role-jan-6/story?id=104014959

4. “Election lies to Fox News fixture: key things to know about Jim Jordan” The Guardian US, 17 Oct. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/oct/17/jim-jordan-republican-speaker-election-denier-trump

5. “Everything we know: Jim Jordan and the Ohio State wrestling scandal” Business Insider, 17 Oct. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/what-happened-jim-jordan-ohio-state-wrestling-sex-abuse-scandal-2023-10

6. “Congress chaos: The dysfunction is so bad that a Democrat just suggested George W. Bush be the next House speaker …” Slate, 17 Oct. 2023, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2023/10/jim-jordan-house-speaker-chaos-george-w-bush.html

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