House speaker succession battles heats up: Jordan, Scalise and Trump in the mix

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) communicate to reporters throughout a break in testimony from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, as a part of the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Trump led by the House Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs and House Oversight and Reform Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 29, 2019.

Erin Scott | Reuters

WASHINGTON — The House speaker’s gavel is up for grabs for the second time this 12 months, and for the second time, that contest is threatening to divide the Republican caucus alongside ideological traces.

Reps. Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise are the high candidates to switch Kevin McCarthy, who was voted out as speaker in an unprecedented transfer Tuesday.

But a wild-card candidate floated by two House members was Donald Trump, the former and would-be president who faces 4 legal indictments and a number of pending main civil lawsuits.

Republicans plan to carry a speaker candidate forum subsequent Tuesday, adopted by a attainable vote the subsequent day.

Judiciary Committee chairman Jordan was the first candidate to publicly throw his hat in the ring.

The Ohio lawmaker, who’s a founding member of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus, was characteristically transient and businesslike as he introduced his candidacy in a letter to GOP colleagues.

“We agreed at the starting of the Congress that there are three elementary issues the House should do: go the payments that have to be handed, do the oversight, and rein in the spending,” Jordan wrote.

Jordan rapidly drew some public support from colleagues, together with Rep. Darrell Issa, Calif., and Rep. Tom Massie of Kentucky.

Known for his hard-charging, partisan strategy to oversight and his ubiquitous shirtsleeves, Jordan is keen to do battle with Democrats and the White House.

His high rival, the Majority Leader Scalise, in his personal letter to his colleagues, struck a really completely different tone than

“I firmly imagine this Conference is a household,” wrote Scalise, who represents a Louisiana district. “We should mend the deep wounds that exist inside our Conference and concentrate on our goals.”

Scalise wrote about his 2017 near-fatal capturing, and the way it had cemented his dedication to public service.

He additionally alluded to his current cancer diagnosis, which had prompted some Republicans to query whether or not his well being would possibly forestall him from doing a few of the work anticipated of House audio system, suchg as touring the nation elevating cash for GOP candidates.

Scalise is pitching himself as a consensus builder, able to bringing a fractured caucus collectively.

There are indicators he might try this .

Even earlier than Scalise introduced his intent to hunt the speakership, Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who led the revolt towards McCarthy, singled out Scalise as a possible substitute.

“I believe very extremely of Steve Scalise. I’d vote for Steve Scalise,” Gaetz mentioned this week.

Scalise additionally has help inside his and McCarthy’s wing of the occasion. The third-ranking House Republican, Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota, mused that Scalise “can be an ideal speaker” on Tuesday.

Should Scalise turn out to be House Speaker, Emmer hopes to switch him as Majority Leader.

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But reaching the 218 votes wanted to be elected speaker, from a caucus so bitterly divided, with so little margin for error, can be troublesome.

One potential consensus candidate is Rep. Kevin Hearn of Oklahoma, who leads the Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus in the House that counts greater than half of all GOP lawmakers amongst its members.

Hern recommended Wednesday that he would enter the race. telling reporters he was making calls to allies and “seeing if the votes are there.”

Another title being bandied about was the present speaker professional tempore, Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina.

Arguably McCarthy’s closest ally in Congress, the House Financial Services Committee chairman has not introduced he’s working for speaker.

If Republicans don’t handle to elect a brand new speaker subsequent week and McHenry stays in the place for longer, the fashionable, veteran lawmaker might use the time to construct help for making his tempory job a everlasting one.

Whoever is elected will doubtless want the help of Trump, the present frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

At least two House members additionally floated Trump as a possible speaker, a place that doesn’t have to be held by a House member.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia wrote that Trump was “the solely candidate for Speaker I’m at present supporting” in a publish on the social media web site X late Tuesday.

Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas mentioned he would nominate Trump.

Trump is at present the essential defendant in a civil enterprise fraud trial in Manhattan

On Wednesday, whereas attending the trial, he was requested he would comply with be House Speaker.

“All I can say is we’ll do no matter is greatest for the nation and different Republican Party and folks,” Trump instructed reporters.

Several hours later, Trump posted a composite picture of himself in the House chamber holding the House speaker’s gavel. He didn’t publish any textual content.

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