One of the two declared candidates in the race for the next U.S. House speaker has taken a strong lead from public endorsements. Republicans have been huddling behind closed doors to hash out candidate options.
The two candidates running for the seat are House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA). Both have gained support since deciding to run, but one is holding a slight race as Republicans prepare to vote later this week for the next speaker.
Many House GOP lawmakers are still holding back their choice in the race. A shift among different factions could sway the vote for either candidate even as Jordan holds a slight lead.
From Fox News:
Only about a third of House GOP lawmakers have made public endorsements so far. Jordan has the support of at least 47 Republicans while at least 23 backed Scalise. The vast majority have remained silent.
Expectations are that Jordan must win over moderates because of his association with representatives who lean to the hard right and his reputation for attacking issues. Scalise, who served as the backup to the previous speaker, is backed by establishment Republicans and conservatives. He faces questions from representatives who are tired of the status quo.
Speculation swirled around Capitol Hill over the weekend that Republicans may rethink the ouster of former speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). That idea has since fizzled as Republicans focus on Jordan and Scalise. McCarthy’s removal created a situation where House business is affected at a time when the U.S. is being called on to help Israel fight terrorists attacking civilians.
The fight to remove McCarthy was vicious with a group of eight Republican lawmakers siding with all present Democrats in voting to vacate the speaker position. McCarthy was gone, and the House was left in an unprecedented situation where no speaker had ever been ousted like this.
House lawmakers across the aisle face strong challenges as the world was changed by the surprise attack by Hamas against Israel last week. Israel has declared war and asked for help from the United States, it’s greatest ally around the world. Both Jordan and Scalise have pledged support for Israel.
The House is in disarray without a permanent speaker in place. This hinders ability to push through legislation to support Israel. Republicans, who hold the majority in the House, could elect a speaker this week. A simple majority is all that is needed to secure the position for a Republican.
- One Republican candidate holds slim lead in race for House Speaker.
- Jordan and Scalise are the only two declared candidates in the race.
- Both pledged support for Israel and a new speaker must act quickly.
Source: Fox News