Rep. Jim Jordan won the nomination Friday to be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives after launching a fresh bid for the position, as analysts warned that the process of finding a replacement for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was preventing the Republican-run chamber from addressing crucial matters.
Jordan, an Ohio Republican who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said “yup” on Friday morning when he was asked if he was running again for speaker after House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, ended his bid late Thursday.
House Republicans voted in favor of Jordan in the afternoon, with 124 supporting him and 81 backing another candidate for speaker, GOP Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia, according to multiple reports. Republican lawmakers then left for the weekend and were expected to reconvene Monday.
Scott, who has been in office since 2011, said in a post on X that he wanted to “lead a House that functions in the best interest of the American people.”
To become speaker of the GOP-led chamber, a candidate must earn the support of a majority of House Republicans. Jordan has crossed that hurdle but now must prevail in a vote on the House floor. Scalise bowed out of the running after it appeared he did not have sufficient support for a floor vote.
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“[W]e need to be unified and get to the floor, and we want that to happen as soon as possible,” Jordan told Cleveland.com before the GOP vote on Friday.
Scalise’s decision to drop his bid “delays the resumption of meaningful legislative
business at least well into next week,” Benjamin Salisbury, director of research at Height Capital Markets, said in a note on Friday.
A similar warning came from Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments. The House has had a temporary speaker — GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina — since Oct. 3, when McCarthy was ousted in a historic vote.
“This paralysis in the House is becoming a serious issue, as major legislation has stalled,” Valliere said in a note. “A government shutdown can’t be ruled out as the next deadline approaches on Nov. 17. More aid to Israel and Ukraine is widely supported in both parties and in both houses, but can this funding overcome procedural hurdles in the House?”
Related: Kevin McCarthy’s ouster means chance of government shutdown next month ‘just went up to 80%,’ analyst says
One betting market, Smarkets, was giving Jordan, a co-founder of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, a 42% chance of becoming speaker. The Ohio congressman “faces difficult math,” as at least five Republican lawmakers are expected to vote against him on the House floor, and their ranks “may balloon by the time a floor vote is called,” Height’s Salisbury said.
Other options that have gotten attention include giving more power to McHenry, the temporary speaker, or making a bipartisan deal on a speaker.
closed mostly lower Friday, with the selling blamed in part on the Israel-Hamas war.
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