After two weeks of paralysis, the US House of Representatives met on Tuesday to elect a new chairman: The right-wing hardliner Jim Jordan, nominated by the Republicans, wants to be elected to the top of the congressional chamber. However, given the resistance from within their own ranks, it was unclear whether former President Donald Trump’s ally would get the necessary majority.
Many moderate Republicans have major reservations about the current chairman of the influential House Judiciary Committee. Because the Republicans only have a narrow majority with 221 representatives, it is unclear whether Jordan can achieve the required majority of 217 votes in the plenary session. If President Joe Biden’s 212 Democratic representatives vote against the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, the 59-year-old could afford a maximum of four dissidents in his own ranks.
Trump-backed Jordan was nominated on Friday in the Republicans’ chaotic search for a successor to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted at the beginning of October. The day before, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, initially nominated by the Republican faction, threw in the towel after it became clear that he would miss the necessary majority for the third-highest state office in the plenary session.
The dispute among the Republicans has far-reaching consequences: without a chairman, the House of Representatives is largely paralyzed. This means, among other things, that Congress cannot decide on any further military aid for Israel, which is attacked by the radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas, or Ukraine, which is attacked by Russia. The USA is also threatened with a so-called shutdown in mid-November without a solution to the budget dispute.