Republicans will try to elect Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan as Speaker of the House, but there are still GOP opponents
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans will try to elect A Controversial Rep. Jim Jordan As the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, promoting the promotion of a key ally of Donald Trump To the middle seat of US power and show the extent to which the hard right wing has moved into the mainstream of the Republican Party.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives is scheduled to begin voting at noon in what could become a referendum Facing the hammer. At least a handful of holdout Republicans are refusing to cast their votes for Jordan, deeming the Ohio Republican too extreme for the powerful job of Speaker of the House, second in line for the presidency.
But with public pressure on lawmakers from Trump allies including Fox News’ Sean Hannity, it’s unclear how long that pushback can last. Jordan quickly turned on dozens of critics within days, buoying wavering Republicans who had few options left two weeks later. Kevin McCarthy eviction.
“The American people deserve Congress and the House to work, and that cannot happen until a president is appointed,” Jordan said after a late Monday night meeting at the Capitol.
As the private meeting turned into a venting session for angry Republicans, he acknowledged, “We have a few people to talk to and listen to.”
The political rise has been steep for Jordan, the combative chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a founding member of the right-wing Freedom Rally. Alarmed by a small group of hardliners turning the House upside down, Republicans have watched their majority control in the chamber descend into chaos since McCarthy’s surprise removal from office. All household chores have stopped.
To get the gavel, Jordan will need an almost full majority of his colleagues behind him to vote on the House floor, where Democrats are certain to back their nominee, Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York.
Jordan lost more than 50 votes during the party’s internal vote last Friday, after Majority Leader Steve Scalise, the party’s first nominee to replace McCarthy, abandoned his bid after Jordan’s allies refused to follow party rules and support him in the vote.
But Jordan can count on Trump’s support as well as pressure from his fellow army of grassroots activists who recognize him from TV news and fireworks at committee hearings. Republicans say it will be difficult for rank-and-file lawmakers to oppose it in a public vote.
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who engineered McCarthy’s ouster by a handful of hardliners, has publicly praised every lawmaker who flipped to Jordan’s column — and rebuked those who didn’t.
“Thank you, Representative Anne Wagner!” Gaetz posted on social media after the Republican representative from Missouri announced her support.
Wagner said she and Jordan spoke at length Monday morning, “and he allayed my concerns about keeping the government open with conservative funding, the need for strong border security, and our need for consistent international support in times of war and turmoil.”
Others also announced their support, including House Armed Services Chairman Mike Rogers of Alabama. Jordan said earlier Monday that the selection of these two supporters was “really great.”
However, it could take several rounds during a vote in the House, unlike in January when McCarthy needed 15 votes to win the gavel. With Republicans’ majority in the House narrowly held at 221 to 212, he can only lose a few votes to reach the 217-vote majority threshold, if there is no absence.
One opponent, Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, said Jordan’s role in the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and his refusal to acknowledge President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election remains problematic.
“I’m going to have a conversation with Jim and talk to him about my concerns,” Buck said.
“Jim, at some point, if he’s going to lead this conference through a presidential election cycle and especially in a presidential election year…he’s going to have to be strong and say Donald Trump didn’t win the election and we need that. step forward.”
Democrats denounced the far-right shift, describing Jordan as the leader of the chaos wing of the Republican Party.
Democratic Representative Katherine Clark said her party is trying to prevent Republicans from putting “a rebel in the Speaker’s chair.”
Jordan was a key ally of Trump, especially during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack by supporters of the former president who tried to overturn the 2020 election, which he lost to Biden. Days later, Trump awarded Jordan the Medal of Freedom.
“Jim Jordan is an insurgent and has no place second in line to the presidency,” said Michael Fanone, a former District of Columbia police officer who was injured fighting a mob on January 6. “This is a very dark time for our democracy and should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans that we can never take our democracy for granted.
Jordan, who was personally visiting the offices of some lawmakers on Monday, has been a vocal defender of Trump as the former president faces four separate indictments, including allegations of election fraud in the run-up to the Capitol attack.
Now the GOP’s front-runner to challenge Biden in the 2024 election, Trump has backed Jordan to replace McCarthy early on and was running against Scalise’s nomination last week.
Tensions remained high among Republicans ahead of the vote. Rank-and-file Republicans are exhausted by party infighting with no further work to do in Congress.
Some Republicans resent being pressured by Jordan’s allies and say they are being threatened by key opponents if they do not support him as president. An aide said their office received an email from Hannity’s team pressuring Jordan.
Others are simply dissatisfied with the way the whole process has proceeded. “I think we still need to have conversations,” said Rep. Mariannette Miller Meeks, R-Iowa.
Jordan also faces questions about his past. Several years ago in Jordan He denied the allegations of former wrestlers during his time as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University who accused him of knowing about allegations that they were inappropriately touched by an Ohio State doctor. Jordan said he was not aware of any abuse at all.
Purging the party of those who don’t support Trump’s vision could be the “greatest blessing” to come from the weeks since McCarthy’s ouster, Gaetz said on Bannon’s podcast on Monday.
Disapproving Republicans are wary of promoting Jordan at a time when the country faces major challenges. Congress must fund the government by November 17 or risk a federal shutdown, and the White House is asking lawmakers to provide additional funding for Ukraine and Israel in wars abroad.
Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Farnoush Amiri, Stephen Groves and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on apnews.com