Jordan clinches Speaker nomination in GOP’s second go at the gavel

Republicans chose firebrand Rep. Jim Jordan as their new nominee for House speaker during internal voting Friday, putting the gavel within reach of the staunch ally of GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

Electing Jordan, a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, to the powerful position second in line to the presidency would move the GOP’s far right into a central seat of U.S. power. A groundswell of highprofile backers including Fox News’ Sean Hannity publicly pressured lawmakers to vote Jordan into the speaker’s office after the stunning ouster of Kevin McCarthy.

Jordan, of Ohio, will now try to unite colleagues from the deeply divided House GOP majority ahead of a public vote on the floor, possibly next week. Republicans split 12481 in Fridays private vote, though a second secret ballot nudged his tally higher.

“I think Jordan would do a great job,” McCarthy, RCalif., said ahead of the vote. “We got to get this back on track.”

Frustrated House Republicans have been fighting bitterly over whom they should elect to replace McCarthy to lead their party after his unprecedented ouster by a handful of hardliners. The stalemate between the factions, now in its second week, has thrown the House into chaos, grinding all other business to a halt. Lawmakers left for the weekend, and are due back Monday.

Attention swiftly turned to Jordan, the Judiciary Committee chairman and founder of the farright Freedom Caucus, after Majority Leader Steve Scalise abruptly ended his bid when it became clear holdouts would refuse to back his nomination.

But not all Republicans want to see Jordan as speaker.

Jordan is known for his close alliance with Trump, particularly when the thenpresident was working to overturn the results of the 2020 election, leading to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

His rise would all but complete the farrightward shift of the party, and boost its defense of Trump in four separate legal cases, including over 2020 election fraud. During Trump’s impeachment proceedings over the Jan. 6 attack, Jordan was his chief defender in Congress. Trump awarded him the Medal of Freedom days later.

The work of Congress, including next month’s Nov. 17 deadline to fund the government or risk a federal shutdown, would be almost certain to become anything but routine. Jordan’s wing of the party has already demanded severe budget cuts that he has promised to deliver, and aid to Ukraine would be seriously in doubt. Investigations into Biden and his family would push to the forefront.

House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries immediately gathered his party on the Capitol steps to urge Republicans against giving the gavel to Jordan — an “extremist extraordinaire” — and encourage GOP lawmakers to partner with them to reopen the House.

Overwhelmed and exhausted, anxious GOP lawmakers worry their House majority is being frittered away to countless rounds of infighting and some dont want to reward the speakers gavel to Jordans wing, which sparked the turmoil.

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Lindsay Gaar represents city at Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.