USA: Speaker candidate and right-winger Jim Jordan removed from his parliamentary group

Three defeats were one too many: Trump friend Jim Jordan will no longer run for speaker of the House of Representatives. The Republicans voted him out.

Jim Jordan likes to play the tough political fighter. As a schoolboy and student, the Republican was a successful wrestler; as a member of the US House of Representatives, the right-wing hardliner made many enemies with his aggressive political style. A party colleague once even described Jordan as a “parliamentary terrorist.” Former President Donald Trump’s ally ran three times to become Speaker of Parliament – the third-highest state office in the USA. He had failed three times.

Republicans withdraw Jordan’s candidacy

This is also why his party colleagues have now withdrawn his nomination for chairmanship of the House of Representatives. As he and other MPs confirmed after the vote, he lost a secret group vote.

The chaos among the Republicans continues – and with it the paralysis of the Chamber of Congress, which is largely unable to act without a chairman. President Joe Biden has asked Congress for the equivalent of more 71 billion euros for Israel, which was attacked by the radical Islamic Hamas, and for Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia. Money that cannot flow without approval from the House of Representatives.

Jim Jordan was the replacement candidate

The previous Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, was overthrown on October 3rd by a rebellion by the far-right wing of his own party. Jordan immediately applied for the successor, but was defeated in a group vote by Republican Majority Leader Steve Scalise. When he threw in the towel due to a lack of support within his own ranks, Jordan, who was supported by Trump, was ultimately nominated as the second choice.

In 16 years, Jordan has not written a single law passed by Congress. The abortion opponent and supporter of lax gun laws secured growing influence as an ardent supporter of Trump, who was elected to the White House in 2016. At the first impeachment trial against the right-wing populist over the Ukraine affair in 2019/2020, the extremely fast-talking MP was one of the then president’s most zealous defenders.

How does it go from here?

What will happen next in the USA is completely unclear. On Monday, the majority Republicans want to debate their next steps. They may try to find a consensus candidate with the help of the Democrats. Or they could give interim speaker Patrick McHenry new powers so that Parliament would at least have a quorum again. For the right wing of the Republicans, these are all rather poor prospects.