Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has announced that he is reentering the race for House speaker after Rep. (R-La.), who had won the nomination, withdrew his name from consideration due to a lack of support from conservatives in the GOP conference.
“Yep,” Jordan told reporters on Friday when asked if he was running for the position.
Scalise had narrowly defeated Jordan in an internal party vote Wednesday by a margin of 113 to 99, but it was clear he wouldn’t be able to get the 217 Republicans needed to win on the House floor.
Even though he got fewer votes among Republicans in the closed-door ballot, several Jordan backers have said he can better unify the conference than Scalise could.
“The American people, they are for Jim Jordan overwhelmingly,” Rep. Russell Fry (R-S.C.) told HuffPost on Friday, citing pro-Jordan callers to his office.
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), meanwhile, rated Jordan’s speaker bid as “plausible, but it’s an uphill climb.”
Other GOP lawmakers indicated that they have serious reservations about Jordan. Asked if she could support him as speaker, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) told Politico, “Absolutely not.” The holdouts also reportedly include Reps. Austin Scott (R-Ga.)and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.).
As of Friday morning, it’s hard to see how any Republican could win the near-unanimous support of their colleagues that would be necessary to get the gavel. More than enough lawmakers have already said they would oppose Jordan to block his path. Like Scalise’s short-lived bid, Jordan can likely only lose four Republicans in a floor vote.
Complicating Jordan’s path is the fact that some members are still pushing for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to be reinstated as speaker after his ouster last week. A small faction forced a vote to eject McCarthy because he had averted a government shutdown using Democratic help — a no-no for GOP hard-liners, even though there’s no way to fund the government without support from Democrats, who control the Senate and White House.
Jordan, who earned the backing of former President Donald Trump last week, is aligned more with the conservative wing of the conference. During his time in Congress, he has endorsed shutting down the government, played a key role in Trump’s plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and pushed the impeachment of President Joe Biden.
“I like him and I have great relationship with him,” centrist Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said of Jordan on Friday. “I don’t know if he has a shot of getting the numbers.”