As current House Speaker Paul Ryan is heading for retirement, congressional Republicans are now searching for who will replace him.
Most eyes turned to the next person in congressional leadership: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. This is often seen as a normal transition, though some others are vying to lead the legislative chamber.
One name which just recently jumped into the race is Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio.
From the Washington Examiner:
Jordan confirmed to reporters he is running for Speaker and that he will be circulating a note to his colleagues announcing his run.
“Yes,” Jordan said when asked to confirm reports that he is running for the post. “We are sending a letter to all of our colleagues.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 27, 2018
His running for the speakership presumes Republicans maintain their majority in the November congressional elections.
“Should the American people entrust us with the majority again in the 116th Congress, I plan to run for Speaker of the House to bring real change to the House of Representatives,” Jordan said in a statement.
The 54-year-old leader of the Freedom Caucus has been a critic of the slow speed at which Congress has addressed political issues, including the repeal of Obamacare.
“President Trump has taken bold action on behalf of the American people,” the Ohio representative continued, as Washington Examiner reports. “Congress has not held up its end of the deal, but we can change that. It’s time to do what we said.”
Jordan said in his letter to Republicans that he’s running to push Congress harder to deliver more conservative reforms. He said he would ensure the House doesn’t cave in to Democratic demands for more spending, and implicitly criticized a deal that Ryan helped secure for more spending.
“When Senator Schumer shut down the government because he wanted amnesty for illegal immigrants and then reopened it days later, we were poised to win the omnibus spending debate,” he wrote. “By holding firm, we could have broken the patter of giving the Left a dollar to fund big government for every dollar spent funding the troops.”
— Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) July 27, 2018
As the Daily Caller reports, Jordan faces some tough competition for the speakership and is facing a scandal in his home state:
Two of the top ranking House Republicans–House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana–are also angling for the position.
McCarthy failed to garner the 218 required votes to become speaker in 2015, but his particularly close relationship with President Donald Trump is expected to give him a potential upper hand over Scalise in the coming months. Scalise wouldn’t rule out a potential bid for Ryan’s job but is also adamant he would not run against McCarthy, who he considers a “good friend,” he said in March.
Both representatives are raising millions for the party and for midterm candidates, which give them solid footing as Republicans look to choose their next leader.
McCarthy said Wednesday that he wants to be the next speaker, urging conservatives to back him.
Before his time in Congress, Jordan served as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University. Some wrestlers have recently accused Jordan of failing to intervene with the actions of a team doctor, Richard Strauss, who players have accused of molesting them.