Jim Jordan supports appointing Patrick McHenry, a McCarthy ally, as temporary speaker

Interim House Leader Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., talks with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, as Republicans try to elect Jordan in a runoff vote as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, October 1 .  August 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

Jim Jordan supports appointing Patrick McHenry, a McCarthy ally, as temporary speaker

California Politics

Erin B Logan
David Lauter
Believe E. Pinho

Oct. 19, 2023

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said he supports North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, the interim Speaker of the House of Representatives, will support.

to advance legislation as the Republican Party continues to bicker over who will lead the House.

Jordan, who was selected as speaker by former President Trump but failed twice to secure the post, announced this to his Republican group on Thursday morning. The Ohioan

said he would remain his party’s candidate to lead the House, allowing him to seek more behind-the-scenes support while McHenry serves in a temporary capacity.

McHenry’s House empowerment would be a satisfying turn for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield).

On Oct. On September 3, a small group of Republican rebels voted with Democrats to oust McCarthy from the chairman’s chair. Before his ouster, McCarthy had selected McHenry, a longtime ally, to serve as speaker pro tempore in case the need arose.

But in the more than two weeks since McCarthy’s defeat, none of the Republicans seeking to permanently replace the Californian have managed to win the simple majority needed to seize the gavel, and his friend McHenry now appears to be on the verge. to control the House, at least for a while.

McHenry declined to comment on the plan Thursday morning. “I’m going to the open floor”, hey told reporters. I have no response. We have an active and powerful conversation.

Republicans hope that empowering McHenry would give the House the ability to tackle pressing issues, including approving additional aid to Israel, which is preparing to invade the Gaza Strip after an Israeli invasion in October. 7 attack by Hamas militants. McHenry could also vote on military aid for the war in Ukraine and on an emergency bill aimed at delaying the Nov. 17 government shutdown.

The unprecedented move to give McHenry more power brings with it a host of questions about how to interpret historic House rules.

“The powers of the speaker pro tem are in dispute, Molly Reynolds, a congressional expert at the Brookings Institution, told The Times last week. We are in uncharted, unprecedented territory here and there are a number of different views.”

But Matthew Glassman, a senior fellow at the Georgetown University Government Affairs Institute, told The Times last week that lawmakers have wide latitude to make decisions: “The House of Representatives is always in control of its own rules…. When push comes to shove,” and they can’t get a Speaker elected, “the House can change its own rules and do whatever it wants.”

During his two weeks in charge since McCarthy’s ouster, McHenry has interpreted his authority narrowly. But it goes further than just presiding over the election of a new chairman.

‘No one doubted whether he could build the house or whether he could start up

[Democratic Reps. Nancy]

Pelosi and


Hoyer from their offices” in the Capitol, for example, Glassman noted. Those are powers that come with the Speaker’s office.

McHenry’s empowerment could generate bipartisan support. Some Republicans who are adamantly against Jordan have done so


they would support a resolution that would empower North Carolinians.

Other Republicans were skeptical of the plan. Indiana Representative Jim Banks told reporters the move “is the biggest FU


of Republican voters I’ve ever seen.”

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York has said he is open to a temporary, bipartisan solution to keep the House functioning but has yet to formally say where his caucus stands on reinforcing McHenry.

The Republicans’ attempt to appoint a temporary chairman follows weeks of internal warfare. After McCarthy’s defeat, the conference nominated Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise to replace him. But Scalise quickly withdrew from the race when it became clear he would not have enough votes to win. Jordan replaced Scalise as the party’s nominee, but failed to win the gavel by two votes on the floor. During the first vote on Monday, twenty Republicans blocked his bid. By Tuesday, that number had grown to 22.

It was likely that more Republican lawmakers would defect during a third floor vote. Jordan’s support on the second ballot, when 199 Republicans backed him, was a modern low for a majority party’s candidate for president.

McHenry’s initial leadership since taking the gavel has been mild and, at least so far, unchallenged. Whether he will be able to maintain calm leadership over his fractured Republican faction remains to be seen.


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