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Jordan Pauses Bid for US House Speaker, Backs McHenry

Jordan Pauses Bid for US House Speaker, Backs McHenry
House Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., speaks with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Wednesday.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 19 October 2023 02:44 PM EDT

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan told his fellow Republicans he will pause his bid to serve as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and back Republican Patrick McHenry to fill the role on a temporary basis, lawmakers said Thursday.

The House has been without a leader for more than two weeks, and Jordan has twice failed to secure the 217 votes needed to claim the speaker's gavel as he has faced opposition from Democrats and more than 20 of his fellow Republicans.

Jordan remains the speaker designee and will reserve the option to hold a speaker vote at any time.

Asked what he expected as he enterer a closed-door meeting with other Republicans, Jordan said only, "I'm not gonna know until I talk to my colleagues."

McHenry, meanwhile, said said as he entered the session: "I did not ask for additional powers. My duty is to get the next speaker elected. That’s my focus."

In that meeting, Jordan said he would not seek a third vote to win the post and instead will back a plan to empower McHenry, who is acting speaker, to hold the post until January, according to Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana.

That option, which Democrats have said they might support, would allow lawmakers to get back to work.

President Joe Biden is expected to ask Congress this week to approve as much as $60 billion for Ukraine and $10 billion for Israel, and funding for U.S. government operations is also due to expire in less than a month.

The White House supports the proposal to empower McHenry to serve as a temporary speaker, according to a White House official on Thursday, who did not wish to be named.

"He's the best bad option. He’s mostly cordial and interested in engaging the other side,” the official said.

The House could vote on that proposal in the afternoon, said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who said she does not support it.

"Our Republican voters worked very hard to give us our majority. And this conference is broken because Republicans worked with Democrats and put us here," she said.

Newsmax has learned that Jordan planned to use the interim period to shore up his support..

The prolonged leadership battle has laid bare divisions among Republicans who control the chamber by a narrow 221-212 margin. Investors say the turmoil on Capitol Hill is also contributing to market volatility.

"Right now the Republican agenda, conservative agenda, is totally derailed," said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., a Jordan opponent.

Jordan would be the third speaker candidate who has fallen victim to Republican infighting. Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the job on Oct. 3 by a small group of Republican insurgents. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, won his party's endorsement last week but dropped out after he was unable to consolidate support.

Jordan got 200 votes in his first attempt on Tuesday and 199 votes on Wednesday. One opponent, Republican Rep. Don Bacon, predicted he would lose another 10 votes in a third attempt.

This report contains material from Reuters and The Associated Press.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan will not hold a third ballot to be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and will instead back empowering interim speaker Patrick McHenry to serve until January, The Washington Post and Punchbowl reported Thursday.
jordan, speaker
Thursday, 19 October 2023 02:44 PM
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