– How Jim Jordan wants to win the House Speaker election
Jim Jordan wants to become the new Speaker of the US House of Representatives. But in a trial vote, 55 members of his people voted against it. Now the far right hopes that there are moderates willing to reach a settlement.
Christian Zaschke in New York
After Rep. Jim Jordan was voted out by a narrow majority from the Republican caucus on Friday Speaker of the US House of Representatives After his nomination, he did something surprising: he immediately sent his colleagues to their constituencies. The usual course of action would have been to insist that lawmakers remain in Washington so that Jordan and his followers could work on it over the weekend before a vote in Congress on who would become the new speaker, possibly on Tuesday.
Jordan received 124 votes in the internal and secret Republican ballot. The party has 221 seats in the House of Representatives, while the Democrats hold 212 seats. Jordan needs a majority vote in the House, so he still has to convince more than 90 of his party colleagues who haven’t given it much thought yet. The extreme rightist will move to the top of the parliamentary group Making it number three in the state after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Radical right account
Why did he not insist that the representatives remain in Washington so that he could convince them of his candidacy? It appears to depend on pressure from the base. His appointment is primarily opposed by moderate Republicans in Congress who oppose the party’s shift to the right.
Jordan enjoys the support of former President Donald Trump, and his word remains sacred to much of the Republican base. The Jordanian camp’s calculations seem to be that the representatives in their constituencies will hear the desire of Al-Qaeda itself to vote only for Jordan, chosen by Trump.
Because of the narrow majority in the House of Representatives, only five dissidents from the Republican camp are enough to prevent the election of the Speaker of the House.
It is an unusual process in many respects. After eight extremist Republican politicians impeached former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, the majority of the parliamentary group agreed to do so. That Steve Scalise should be his successor, former second-in-command in the House of Representatives. This is the usual procedure.
However, the ultra-conservative Scalise was not right-wing enough for the far-right wing, so immediately after Scalise’s nomination, some Republicans announced they would withhold his endorsement, even though he was supported by a majority of the group.
Because of the narrow majority in the House of Representatives, only five dissidents from the Republican camp are enough to prevent the election of the Speaker of the House. Scalise saw that he would have no chance against the extremists. He believed that this group could in no way be convinced that it would paralyze political processes in the long term.
All this at a time when the House of Representatives urgently needs to vote on aid provided to Israel and Ukraine. In addition, there is a risk of a so-called shutdown, i.e. bankruptcy of the state, occurring within a few weeks if the Council does not quickly take the appropriate decisions to adopt the budget. But without a Speaker, the House of Representatives cannot function.
So Scalise withdrew his candidacy. The far right now wants moderates to ultimately vote for Jordan, contrary to their beliefs, simply because moderates are seen as less conscientious and committed. So they eventually give up because, unlike the radical wing, they are ashamed of causing institutional chaos.
After the election in which Jordan was nominated, Republicans immediately decided to hold a second internal vote. The question was who from the group would definitely vote for the candidate in the elections for the entire House of Representatives. Fifty-five Republicans answered no to this question.
This is a large number considering that Jordan can only afford to lose four votes. However, these elections were also secret. The question is how many of these representatives who are not well-disposed towards Jordan will ultimately dare to vote against him in a roll call vote in the House of Representatives. The number will likely drop significantly because the public vote against Jordan will also be against Trump. Large parts of the party still live in fear of the former president’s wrath.
Jordan’s supporters also tried to apply pressure on social media over the weekend. They published the phone numbers of some moderate Republicans and encouraged the base to call and loudly express their preference for Jordan. Representative Anna Paulina Luna from Florida asked her moderate colleagues on the “X” Twitter platform previously: “Do you want to explain to your voters why you obstructed Jordan’s elections?” Her own answer: “Then do it!”