The latest announcement from Steve Scalise has opened up the way for Jim Jordan. This decision that he has withdrawn from the race for the House Presidency was announced during a Republican conference meeting on Thursday night. Scalise had previously clinched the nomination for the post after narrowly beating Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, following a vote by the Republican conference on Wednesday.
The race for the next Speaker of the House had been underway following the unanticipated removal of Kevin McCarthy. Two candidates had emerged as frontrunners: Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan. While Scalise had secured the initial nomination in a secret ballot, it did not guarantee his ascension to the Speaker’s chair. He had to garner still sufficient support to win a total chamber vote.
Moreover, Scalise’s victory in the closed-door session, with a vote tally of 113-99, has sparked outrage among many conservatives. Much like McCarthy, some members see Scalise as a part of the “uniparty” establishment, a continuation of the status quo. This led many conservatives to rally behind Jim Jordan, a figure they see as representing their values and ideals.
Jim Jordan is not just another politician but a beacon of hope for conservatives. His candidacy is supported by none other than former President Donald Trump, a fact that bolsters his appeal among hardcore conservatives. Yet, despite this endorsement, the final decision rests in the hands of the House of Representatives members.
Interestingly, Jim Jordan had offered to nominate Steve Scalise for speaker on the House floor, which speaks volumes about his dedication to party unity. Despite narrowly losing the nomination, Jordan reminded his colleagues that the ultimate goal is to secure at least 217 votes on the floor, which is needed to officially elect the Speaker of the House. However, this was far from an endorsement of Scalise.
The reasons provided by Scalise were “the deep divisions within the Republican Party” and, therefore, “the inability to secure the necessary votes.” Despite being formally nominated by the House Republican conference, Scalise felt that the meeting still had not come together and was not united.
Moreover, concerns were raised over Scalise’s health, as he is battling blood cancer. While this was not the main reason for his withdrawal, it did add to the uncertainty surrounding his bid for speaker.
All the while, Jordan’s emphasis was not on ‘personal victory’ but on ensuring that the party presented a united front. This was evident in his decision to offer Scalise his support and attempt to persuade his colleagues to do the same. However, the deep fractures within the House Republican conference made it difficult for Scalise to secure the necessary votes to win the gavel.
Many had vehemently argued that such a process as a secret ballot conducted in Congress lacked transparency. In retort, Scalise accused conservative holdouts in the speaker’s race of having their own “agenda” and stated that he believed they needed to put their agendas aside and focus on what the country needed. Indeed, it was the belief of many conservatives that all votes put forth in the name of constituents should be transparent, allowing those constituents to monitor the actions of their representatives.
The GOP Congress’s decision to go behind closed doors and choose Scalise over Jordan has been seen as yet another instance of the party disregarding the desires of its voters. Despite the overwhelming support for Jordan among Republican voters, the party opted for Scalise, a decision met with widespread disappointment and frustration.
In a political landscape where big money donors and lobbyists often dictate the course of action, it is no surprise that they favor Scalise for Speaker. This influence is often seen in campaign finance, where wealthy donors can pour unlimited amounts of money into campaigns through Super PACs, drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans. However, it is the voters who want Jordan as Speaker, a sentiment that appears to be largely ignored by the Republican Congress.
The actions of our elected representatives have made it clear that they are not working for us; they are working for themselves. This is a wake-up call for us to hold them accountable and demand that they act in the best interest of our republic and not just their own.
To this effect, the Republican Accountability Project has launched an initiative to hold Republican members of Congress accountable for their votes, including by helping credible primary challengers against them. While it may be challenging to reduce the influence of big money donors and lobbyists on American politics, there are efforts to limit campaign finance, increase transparency, and enforce fair and effective election laws.
So, despite Jordan’s efforts to rally support for Scalise, it was clear that the race for the Speaker position was far from over. Some members of the House, including several of Jordan’s supporters, have indicated that they will still be voting for Jordan. This suggests that while Jordan may prioritize party unity, his supporters still see him as the best candidate for the Speaker position.
It is now clear where the hearts of true conservatives lie. They lie with Jim Jordan, a man they perceive as representing their values and ideals. Their support for Jordan is his political stance and their desire for transparency, accountability, and a government that genuinely represents the people it serves. As the final decision looms, one thing is sure: the voice of the people and true conservatives demands to be heard.
As the latest development of Scalise dropping out of the Speaker’s race unfolds, Jordan should have a clear path to victory, that is, if Republicans can come together and unite the party.
©2023. Amil Imani. All rights reserved.
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