Amid Intraparty GOP Fight, Will Jim Jordan Sneak In As House Speaker?

The 118th Congress hasn’t even convened yet and already the Republicans are in disarray.

The GOP took control of the House in the midterm elections, but just barely: they hold a 222-213 edge over Democrats. Now they have to pick a speaker, but that’s proven to be far harder than anyone could have predicted.

While Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), currently the top Republican in the House, should be a shoo-in for the job, at least five GOP lawmakers have publicly declared they won’t vote for him as speaker, who needs 218 votes to wield the gavel.

Now, a new name has emerged as a possible consensus candidate: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of the five lawmakers who oppose McCarthy, is urging Jordan to step in and seek the leadership post.

“All I want for Christmas is @Jim_Jordan to realize he should be Speaker of the House!,” Gaetz tweeted on Christmas Eve.

All I want for Christmas is @Jim_Jordan to realize he should be Speaker of the House!

— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) December 24, 2022

On Christmas Day, he doubled down with another tweet: “​Merry Christmas to all! Make sure to join me in encouraging​ ​@Jim_Jordan​ ​to seek the Speakership :)​.”

Gaetz has been vocal in his opposition to the California congressman, writing in a Daily Caller piece last week that McCarthy “does not actually believe anything. He has no ideology.”

“The McCarthy camp is spinning that Kevin must be accepted because ‘we have to avoid chaos.’ Chaos for who exactly? The special interests that are counting on McCarthy as their lapdog?” Gaetz wrote. “I’m worried about chaos in the lives of my constituents.”

Right now, there are two factions: The Only Kevin side and the Never Kevin side.

“Dozens of GOP lawmakers, from moderates to MAGA loyalists, have said they will only vote for McCarthy for Speaker, no matter how many rounds of votes it takes. If followed, that commitment to respond to hardball with hardball would basically ensure no other Republican comes close to the gavel,” the Daily Beast reported.

“The people that are supportive of Kevin, which are far more numerous than his critics, are dug in at least as deep as his critics are,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a supporter of McCarthy, told The Beast, “The pressure won’t be on them. It’s gonna’ be on the people that brought down the whole edifice— for what? For what purpose? What end?”

But Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) — who ran unsuccessfully against McCarthy for the speaker nomination last month — says there are upwards of 20 members in the Never Kevin movement. Good scoffed at Cole’s declaration.

“That’s funny. The bottom line is, Kevin is not going to be speaker … He’s not going to have the votes, and the number of individuals who are committed to not voting for him — it’s growing, not receding,” he said.

Republicans, Good said, need to “get past the denial stage” saying the sooner they start searching for a consensus candidate, “the better off we’re all going to be.”

POLITICO reported last week that a group of lawmakers has quietly approached Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is currently the No. 2 leader in the House GOP, about running for speaker if McCarthy comes up short.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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