OAN’s James Meyers
11:05 AM – Thursday, October 19, 2023
In a surprise move, Republican representative Jim Jordan will back a plan to temporarily empower interim speaker Patrick McHenry until January.
Jordan (R-Ohio.) canceled the third vote that was scheduled for Thursday, which now allows legislative affairs to resume in the face of two wars and a possible government shutdown in the future.
The decision comes after Jordan failed to receive 217 votes in the first two rounds. Instead, he fell short and landed 199 votes on Wednesday and 200 on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, given that several Republicans have been vocal over Jordan’s most recent decision, it is uncertain if McHenry (R-N.C.) will have enough backing from other Republicans to maintain the interim position until January.
“It’s the biggest F-U to Republican voters I’ve ever seen,” one conservative Jordan ally, Rep. Jim Banks, (R-Ind.), said as he left the meeting. “We need to elect a speaker. We were sent here to elect a speaker. It’s a cop out. … It’s a big mistake, and over half the Republicans in that room are against it.”
If McHenry receives enough support he will be given the same powers as an elected speaker, but it would only be up until January 2024.
According to sources, Jordan will not drop out of the race and will remain the GOP’s Speaker-designee.
David Joyce (R-Ohio.) and other GOP members have been pushing for the move after Jordan’s failed second vote to become the next Speaker.
“After two weeks without a Speaker of the House and no clear candidate with 217 votes in the Republican conference, it is time to look at other viable options. By empowering Patrick McHenry as Speaker Pro Tempore we can take care of our ally Israel until a new Speaker is elected,” Joyce said in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s vote.
Other republicans are still divided on whether to give McHenry the role.
“Never in the history of this institution…have we ever appointed a Speaker pro tempore with the full powers of the Speakership without having a duly elected Speaker,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) told reporters.
Additionally, Democrats have been open to the idea of electing McHenry but have also been vocal in letting the GOP approach them for their support.
“We’re looking for ways to reopen the government and get bipartisan bills to the floor. So the balls in their court. This is their civil war. They’re the majority. They have to elect the speaker. We hope that they will come to us now that there have been two votes, and Jim Jordan has been unable to put it together and find that bipartisanship,” House Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) told reporters after leaving a conference meeting.
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