Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is now the latest House speaker nominee, decided in a vote by GOP lawmakers in Congress on Friday. The party’s latest nominee comes less than a day after Republican Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana dropped out of the race in a dramatic twist amid days of searching for someone to go up against Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, the nominee for the Democrats.
Republicans have been frantically deciding on their nominee to go up before a vote for the House speaker spot previously occupied by ousted former speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California.
On Thursday, Scripps News confirmed that Rep. Scalise decided to withdraw his nomination for the speakership, dealing a surprise blow to the party’s urgent search for a nominee that was expected to extend lawmakers’ work by days. That prediction was quashed by Friday afternoon when Rep. Jordan was announced as the nominee.
The timing of the full House speaker vote has remained uncertain, and it will now likely be extended to sometime in the days to come. Lawmakers told Scripps News on Friday they would head home before returning on Monday for a possible speaker vote next week.
When Republicans are able to finally cast their votes for the speaker on the House floor, they will require at least 217 votes to secure their pick as speaker. Even when Rep. Scalise was the nominee for the party, a number of Republicans told Scripps News that they would continue to support Jordan, who faced Scalise in the internal party vote but lost.
“The House GOP Conference is broken. So we oust Kevin McCarthy and all other leaders are rewarded with promotions? How does that make sense or change anything? We need to chart a different path forward. In the meantime, I plan to vote for Jim Jordan on the floor,” Rep. Lloyd Smucker said.
Jordan defeated Republican Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia, who had announced a surprise bid earlier on Friday.