McCarthy predicts Jim Jordan will get enough votes to win House speakership

House Republicans voted to nominate far-right representative Jim Jordan to speaker on Friday

Ariana Baio
Tuesday 17 October 2023 13:18 BST

Kevin McCarthy says he will support Jim Jordan for House speaker

Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has full confidence that Republican Rep Jim Jordan will obtain the necessary 217 votes to assume the speakership.

Reflecting on his own experience, in which it took 15 rounds of votes in order for Mr McCarthy to become speaker of the House in January, he told Fox News programme Sunday Morning Futures that he believes Mr Jordan “can get there.”

“I’m one who understands how difficult it is,” Mr McCarthy said. “I did walk in with more support during this time but I believe at the end of the day Jim could get there and I’m doing everything I can to help him.”

For nearly two weeks, the House of Representatives has remained without a speaker, preventing the legislative body from making any progress on passing bills at a “critical time,” as described by Mr McCarthy.

Despite the grim outlook, the former speaker believes Mr Jordan’s current campaign to appeal to his colleagues will pay off.

Mr Jordan, a far-right Republican and ally of Donald Trump who represents Ohio’s 4th District, is the current frontrunner among the GOP caucus to assume the speakership.

On Friday, Republican representatives voted to nominate Mr Jordan for speaker after the number two House Republican, Steve Scalise, failed to attract enough support to become speaker.

But like Mr Scalise, Mr Jordan appears to lack the 217 votes he would need to become the next speaker with several members of his own party opposing his nomination including Representatives Carlos Gimenez, Steve Womack and Ann Wagner.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, talks with reporters as House Republicans meet again behind closed doors to find a path to elect a new speaker

Mr McCarthy said Mr Jordan is speaking to “every single member” of the House Republican caucus to figure out how they work together to get him elected and move forward in legislating bills.

The former speaker’s support comes after he was ousted by eight far-right members of his own party joining Democrats in removing him from his position earlier this month. The group included Florida rep Matt Gaetz who spearheaded the campaign to remove Mr McCarthy.

The latest in the chaotic speakership saga is just another reminder that infighting between House Republicans has painted the party as too divided.

Mr McCarthy seemingly brushed the idea aside by blaming Democrats as well as the eight GOP members for creating chaos.

The House may begin taking a roll call vote for speaker as early as Tuesday.

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