After House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) dropped out of the running to become the next House speaker due to insufficient support from within his own party, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) emerged as a backup nominee.
Although Jordan has received support from the GOP’s conservative wing — and secured an endorsement from former President Donald Trump — since entering the race to replace former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), recent reports indicate that establishment Republicans are standing in the way of his election to the leadership post.
According to Capitol Hill sources cited by NBC News, a number of GOP lawmakers have secretly been negotiating with Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to find a consensus candidate capable of receiving the 218 votes necessary to receive the speaker’s gavel.
🚨BREAKING🚨: President Donald J. Trump endorses Rep. Jim Jordan as House speaker pic.twitter.com/svkmLVCYLb
— Dillon Fillion (@DillonFillionIA) October 6, 2023
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) has been among the most outspoken House Republicans in this group, denouncing the eight fellow Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy earlier this month as “traitors” and affirming his willingness to work with Democrats to find a replacement.
“We’re still the majority party,” Rogers said. “We’re willing to work with them, but they’ve got to tell us what they need.”
Jeffries also confirmed the “informal conversations” he has had with Republican leaders, asserting on Sunday that “it’s important to begin to formalize those discussions” in the House this week.
“It’s time to end the Republican civil war so we can get back to doing the business of the American people,” the top House Democrat added. “And we as House Democrats are committed to finding that bipartisan path forward in a meaningful way.”
Without any support from House Democrats, the Republican nominee can only afford to lose five GOP votes in the narrowly divided chamber.
While Rogers and others in the party clearly still carry a grudge regarding the decision to remove McCarthy, the former speaker has publicly stated his support for Jordan, whom he said would “do an excellent job” in the role.
The GOP infighting is clearly standing in the way of the party’s ability to capitalize on its slim majority in the chamber.
As Rep. Mark Alford (R-TX) explained: “We are a ship that doesn’t have a rudder right now. This is a troubling time for members who came here to do serious business.”