Rep. Jim Jordan was making a fresh effort on Friday to become the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, while analysts warned that the process to find a replacement for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was preventing the Republican-run chamber from addressing crucial matters.
Jordan, an Ohio Republican who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said “yup” when he was asked if he’s running again for speaker after House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, ended his bid late Thursday.
House Republicans met on Friday morning to address filling the speakership and were expected to gather again around 1 p.m. Eastern time. Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia also is seeking to become the speaker, according to multiple reports.
To become speaker, a lawmaker must take part in a forum for candidates and earn the support of a majority of House Republicans, then prevail in a vote on the House floor.
Scalise’s decision to drop his bid “delays the resumption of meaningful legislative
business at least well into next week,” Benjamin Salisbury, director of research at Height Capital Markets, said in a note on Friday.
A similar warning came from Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments. The House has had a temporary speaker — GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina — since Oct. 3, when McCarthy was ousted in a historic vote.
“This paralysis in the House is becoming a serious issue, as major legislation has stalled,” Valliere said in a note. “A government shutdown can’t be ruled out as the next deadline approaches on Nov. 17. More aid to Israel and Ukraine is widely supported in both parties and in both houses, but can this funding overcome procedural hurdles in the House?”
One betting market, Smarkets, was giving Jordan, a co-founder of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, a 42% chance of becoming speaker. The Ohio congressman “faces difficult math” as at least five Republican lawmakers are expected to vote against him on the House floor, and their ranks “may balloon by the time a floor vote is called,” Height’s Salisbury said.