In the wake of the dramatic ouster of Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Party is witnessing a fierce battle for the position of the next Speaker of the House. Representatives Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan have emerged as the leading contenders, both seeking support within the fractured Republican ranks. The chamber remains paralyzed, with a tentative Republican vote scheduled for Tuesday and the possibility of a House floor election the following day.
The race took an unexpected turn when former President Donald J. Trump threw his weight behind Jim Jordan. In a post on the Truth Social platform, Trump declared, “Congressman Jim Jordan has been a STAR long before making his very successful journey to Washington, D.C. He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement!” Trump’s endorsement adds significant momentum to Jordan’s campaign.
Representative Troy Nehls of Texas confirmed Trump’s endorsement of Jordan, stating, “I believe Congress should listen to the leader of our party.”
Jordan further solidified his position by gaining the endorsement of Representative Byron Donalds of Florida, who had previously considered running for Speaker himself. Donalds expressed his full support for Jordan, adding more strength to his campaign.
Both Scalise and Jordan face the challenging task of uniting a divided Republican conference in the aftermath of McCarthy’s removal. Jordan, a co-founder of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, must convince mainstream Republicans of his ability to govern effectively. He met with members of the Main Street Caucus, a group of business-minded Republicans, to gain their support.
On the other hand, Scalise, who has experience winning conference elections as majority leader, aims to build better relationships with the right-wing of the party. Both candidates are considered more conservative than McCarthy.
Notably, Jordan and Scalise have different positions on providing aid to Ukraine in its conflict against Russian aggression. Jordan voted against continuing aid, while Scalise supported it, a stance that has become a contentious issue among Republicans.
As the race for Speaker intensifies, many Republicans are still evaluating their choices. Representative Marc Molinaro of New York, who had spoken with both Scalise and Jordan, emphasized the importance of observing, listening, and ensuring that all members have a voice in the decision-making process.
The Republican Party’s next Speaker of the House will play a crucial role in guiding the party’s agenda and navigating a deeply divided political landscape, making this race a pivotal moment in American politics.