On Wednesday, Ohio’s Jim Jordan became the first Republican to formally enter the contest to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the House.
After House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was removed from office and said he would not seek re-election, House Republicans are now even more sharply divided.
It is unclear whether the conference will be able to unite behind a strong replacement for the California Republican.
The stakes are really high because the House is virtually immobilized because of the lack of a speaker, and Congress is facing a mid-November shutdown deadline.
The next likely House-wide speaker vote is scheduled for next Wednesday, October 11. Republicans are scheduled to hear from speaker contenders during a forum on Tuesday.
Jim Jordan is on a growing list of potential McCarthy replacements, which also includes House Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota and Oklahoma Rep.
Kevin Hern, chairman of the Republican Study Committee; House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, the No. 2 Republican in the House; and Oklahoma
“Now is the time for our Republican conference to come together to keep our promises to Americans,” Jordan wrote. “No matter what we do, we must do it together as a conference.”
The Ohio Republican is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, one of three committees overseeing the investigation into President Joe Biden’s impeachment, which is a top priority for Republicans.
On Wednesday, Jim Jordan batted off worries that he would be viewed as being too conservative by some of the GOP’s more centrist members.
“I believe that our party is conservative-center-right. I believe I am the one who can bring that together. My political views are completely in line with those of Republicans and conservatives around the nation.
Late Tuesday night, when McCarthy was unceremoniously removed from the top leadership position by the House in a historic vote that put the House in unknown territory, the campaign for speaker erupted.
McCarthy startled Washington by saying he would not run again.
McCarthy faced criticism from ardent conservatives who put obstacles in the way of the leadership agenda and opposed legislation that was approved with Democratic cooperation while serving as speaker.
McCarthy presided over a slim majority and had to deal with their criticism. His removal, spearheaded by Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, occurred shortly after he prevented a government shutdown by approving a stopgap funding agreement.