What to know about Jim Jordan, the Republican House speaker nominee
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) appears to be getting closer to becoming the next House speaker.
Jordan came in second to House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) in an initial vote last week by the House Republican Conference to nominate a speaker to replace Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was ousted two weeks ago. Scalise, however, quickly withdrew his bid after Republicans failed to coalesce around his nomination.
Now Jordan, who secured the nomination for speaker in another round of votes by the conference on Friday, faces the same challenge: how to bring a divided conference together and get nearly all Republicans on board with his candidacy to prevail on the House floor.
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The firebrand conservative from Ohio has garnered a key endorsement from former president Donald Trump. On Tuesday, as part of a larger pressure campaign to bring Republican holdouts on board, Jordan has scheduled a public roll-call vote in an attempt to dare his opponents to vote against him and incur the public wrath of his far-right supporters.
Jordan has risen in the ranks of the Republican conference since first being elected to Congress in 2006.
He previously served as chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of the most conservative House members. He also has been the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee since 2020 — fighting off investigations into Trump and launching investigations into President Biden since becoming chairman of the committee this year.
Trump, for his part, offered his “Complete & Total Endorsement” of Jordan on his social media platform, Truth Social, early Friday.
“He is STRONG on Crime, Borders, our Military/Vets, & 2nd Amendment,” Trump wrote. “He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House.”
Jordan, 59, has a reputation as a political flamethrower — lobbing attacks against Democrats and being unafraid to disagree with his party’s leadership. He was one of eight House members who served on Trump’s defense team during his first impeachment trial in the Senate. Before he left office, Trump awarded Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Jordan has had a hand in high-profile investigations of Democrats. As a leader of the House hearings on the deadly 2012 terrorist attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, he questioned then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He is now one of the leaders of the impeachment inquiry into Biden.
He encountered controversy in 2018 when former Ohio State University wrestlers accused him of knowing about the alleged sexual abuse of wrestlers decades ago and failing to act. Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1987 to 1995, denied knowing about the allegations against Richard Strauss, a former doctor in the school’s athletic department.
Jordan has been considered for House speaker before: In January, hard-right Republicans who opposed McCarthy nominated him.
Jordan, however, maintained that he supported McCarthy for the speakership at the time.
While many House Republicans initially expressed reservations about supporting Jordan, by midday Monday, more announced their support.
In a key development, Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said he would support Jordan after previously saying he would not.
After Rogers went public with his support, the dam began to break. Fervent supporters of Scalise, previously angry over his treatment by the Ohio Republican during the speaker nomination process, came out in support of Jordan. Among them was Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), who said last week that she would never back Jordan. Her concerns have been “allayed,” she said in a statement.
As House Republicans filed into another closed-door meeting in the Capitol on Monday night, at least 10 said they would not support Jordan in the first round of voting Tuesday or were undecided. Jordan can afford to lose only four votes on the floor.
Leigh Ann Caldwell, Marianna Sotomayor and Mariana Alfaro contributed to this report.