Right-wing firebrand Jim Jordan has failed for the second day in a row to win a vote to become the speaker of the House, leaving the Republican Party at a crossroads. Jordan's ambitions have been pushed to the brink, and lawmakers are now considering empowering an interim speaker to alleviate the legislative paralysis that has plagued the House for the past two weeks.
Representative Patrick McHenry has been proposed as the speaker pro tempore, with limited procedural powers to oversee the passage of essential spending bills. McHenry was appointed to this role by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, but the extent of his authority has been unclear. By formally electing McHenry, the House would grant him the authority to move legislation to the floor and ensure the funding of the government beyond the current fiscal year.
This move comes as frustration mounts among Republicans who are eager to find a solution to the ongoing impasse. The prolonged voting process and the failure of Jordan to gain support from enough members have led some lawmakers to consider alternatives, including expanding McHenry's power. The hope is that by giving McHenry greater authority, the House can make progress on key issues and avoid further gridlock.
However, the situation has not been without controversy. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks revealed that she has received death threats after switching her vote to another Republican in the second round of voting. This highlights the intense pressure and division within the party as members jockey for power and influence.
If Jordan were to win the speakership, it would signify a significant shift in power within the Republican Party. Jordan is seen as a hardline conservative and a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump. His election as speaker would signal a victory for the right-wing faction of the party, which has been gaining influence in recent years.
However, some Republicans are hesitant to support Jordan due to concerns about his track record and his role in Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. Jordan has been in Congress for 16 years but has little to show for it in terms of successful legislation or accomplishments. His supporters argue that he is a strong advocate for conservative values, but critics argue that he is more focused on appearing on conservative media outlets and catering to his base than on effectively governing.
The infighting within the Republican Party raises questions about the motivations and expectations of GOP voters. What do they hope to achieve by supporting Jordan as speaker? Despite his popularity among some conservatives, Jordan has not proven himself to be an effective leader or legislator. It remains to be seen how this power struggle will ultimately play out and what it means for the future of the party.
In the meantime, Republicans are grappling with the challenge of finding a way forward. The House remains at a standstill, and lawmakers are divided on the best path to take. Some believe that expanding McHenry's power could provide a temporary solution, while others are still holding out hope for Jordan. The next speaker vote is expected to take place on Thursday, and the outcome will have significant implications for the future of the Republican Party.
0. “Speaker of the House race: Here's what happens next” Yahoo News, 18 Oct. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/speaker-of-the-house-race-heres-what-happens-next-184859543.html
1. “House GOP Chaos Continues as Jordan Loses Speaker Vote—Again” The Daily Beast, 18 Oct. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/house-gop-chaos-continues-as-jim-jordan-loses-speaker-voteagain
2. “Hardball tactics by Jim Jordan allies are backfiring with detractors in House speaker’s race” CNBC, 19 Oct. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/10/19/hardball-tactics-by-jordan-allies-backfires-in-house-speakers-race.html
3. “Jim Jordan fails to get votes to become speaker on the second 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
4. “The House mess is what GOP voters wanted” The Atlantic, 18 Oct. 2023, https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2023/10/house-jordan-gop-voters/675688/