USA: Republican Jim Jordan fails in election for the third highest office in the country

Since Kevin McCarthy’s dramatic vote out of office at the beginning of October, the US House of Representatives has been largely at a standstill. A hardliner and ally of ex-President Trump wants to move up to the powerful post. But for now it’s not enough for him.

Republican Jim Jordan failed in the first attempt to become chairman of the US House of Representatives. Due to dissenting votes from his own group, the confidant of former US President Donald Trump did not achieve the necessary majority in Tuesday’s vote.

Jordan was chosen as a candidate by his parliamentary group behind closed doors on Friday – but the vote there was extremely close. The Trump loyalist was initially not considered capable of gaining a majority, but in the past few days he has attracted some opponents to his side. At first it wasn’t enough for a majority. 20 party colleagues opposed him in the vote on Tuesday.

USA: Republicans seek successor to Kevin McCarthy

The previous chairman of the parliamentary chamber, Kevin McCarthy, was voted out of the powerful post in a historic vote at the beginning of October. Radical Republicans had driven him out of office. It was the first time in US history that a chairman of the House of Representatives lost his job in this way. The office comes third in the United States’ hierarchy after the president and his vice president.

The drama among the Republicans in the House of Representatives has largely brought the US Parliament to a standstill for the time being. Until a new chairman of the chamber is appointed, the legislative work there will largely lie idle – in the middle of a time of major international conflicts in Ukraine and Israel that need the attention of the US Parliament. Among other things, Congress has to decide on further possible aid for Kiev, as well as on a federal budget as a whole. For now, only a transitional budget has been agreed until mid-November, which does not include any support for Kiev.

The Republican faction in the House of Representatives is extremely fragmented and difficult to bring to a common denominator. McCarthy only managed to become chairman in the 15th ballot in January. After he was voted out, the group initially identified the right-wing conservative Steve Scalise as a possible successor to McCarthy. But Scalise was unable to secure the necessary majority within his own ranks and withdrew his candidacy before a vote in the plenary session.

Jordan is firmly behind former President Donald Trump

The Republicans only have a slim majority in the House of Representatives. That’s why Republican dissidents have powerful leverage in voting. The group currently has 221 seats in the parliamentary chamber, while the Democrats have 212 seats. Jordan would have needed 217 votes for a majority. So he could only afford four dissidents in his own ranks – but 20 party colleagues opposed him. Jordan could not count on votes from US President Joe Biden’s Democrats in the vote.

The representative from Ohio belongs to the right-wing fringe of the group, represents extreme positions and has stood firmly at Trump’s side for years. The ex-president had aggressively campaigned for Jordan before the vote. The Democrats, on the other hand, had warned before the vote that it would send a “terrible message” if the House of Representatives made a supporter of a nationwide abortion ban, an election denier and an insider of the attack on the US Capitol the leader of the chamber.