On Tuesday night, before the nomination of Rep Mike Johnson (R-LA) as the next GOP speaker, NBC News correspondent Ali Vitali reported on the idea making the rounds that after three weeks without a speaker, Mr McCarthy could return to the post with Mr Jordan as his assistant speaker to appease the far-right members who ousted Mr McCarthy in the first place.
One Republican House member told NBC, “We’re desperate”.
Ms Reid and panelist Tim Miller, a former GOP political operative, burst into laughter at the suggestion, and Ms Reid threw her show notes into the air.
Ms Vitali noted that Rep Katherine Clark (D-MA) had been assistant speaker under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
“There is technically a precedent for this, but there is also very much an Office reference here about Dwight being the Assistant to the Regional Manager, and I think that’s probably more apt,” she said.
House Democrats backed Ms Clark for the role in November 2020. Ms Pelosi created the position in 2018 after Democrats took back the House in the midterms.
“As your laughter suggests, this is probably not going to happen, but it’s being floated and we just report the news here, Joy,” Ms Vitali said.
“Jim Jordan has been floated as Speaker-designate, Speaker-Emeritus, Speaker-nominee-in-waiting, and now Assistant Speaker. The main problem with that strategy is that none of those are real jobs,” Mr Miller wrote on X.
“Where do I apply to be Assistant Deputy Secretary Regional Speaker??” Rep Maxwell Frost (D-FL) wrote.
“Inside the GOP Conference. ‘I’d be Assistant Speaker’ – Jordan ‘That’s Assistant to the Speaker’ – McCarthy,” Michael Cohen joked.
“My personal take on Kevin McCarthy’s proposal to stay speaker and make Jim Jordan ‘assistant speaker’ is that he would have done that in January if even one holdout would have flipped their vote from no to present,” Matt Fuller of The Daily Beast said.
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