Extremist Jim Jordan loses the first vote to preside over the US House of Representatives | International
Jim Jordan, an ally of Donald Trump, singled out by the parliamentary commission that investigated the assault on the Capitol for his role in trying to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 elections, a prominent member of the radical wing of the Republican Party, lost this Tuesday the first vote to be elected president of the House of Representatives. Jordan, however, is very close to achieving the majority needed to succeed the ousted Kevin McCarthy. The House will have to continue voting until Jordan or another candidate achieves a majority. The acting president has proclaimed a recess and it is not yet known when the second vote will take place. Meanwhile, the operation of the Chamber is paralyzed.
The Trump candidate has achieved 200 votes, which leaves him 17 away from achieving the election, since there are currently two vacancies and the House has 433 congressmen. The common denominator of the twenty Republicans who have not supported him is that they are representatives elected in districts where Biden won the 2020 elections. If they are perceived as extremists, they risk losing their position in the November 5 elections. 2024, in which at the same time that the president is elected, the 435 seats in the House and a third of the Senate are renewed.
Jim Jordan, 59, is one of the co-founders of the Freedom Caucus, the hardline wing of the Republican Party. He was the first president of that group, between 2015 and 2017, and its vice president since then. Since this year he chaired the judicial commission of the House of Representatives. He is an ultra-conservative who systematically opposes public spending, who defends a federal ban on abortion throughout the country and who refused to recognize Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.
His promotion represents a triumph of the blackmail to which the hard wing has subjected the Republican Party. A handful of extremists brought down Kevin McCarthy. Then, in an internal vote of the parliamentary group, the preferred was Steve Scalise, a right-wing, but less radical option. That should have cleared his way for the position. However, he threw in the towel when he saw that he was not going to get the vote of the most radical members of his party in the plenary session. Finally, Jim Jordan won the nomination in a new internal vote.
Although it is usual for the president of the House of Representatives to be elected on the first vote, McCarthy needed 15 rounds in January before achieving his dream of taking over the gavel. speaker. It was pressure from Trump that already then unblocked his election in a dramatic night session. The idea of the Republicans was not to repeat that spectacle by previously searching for a candidate who would achieve consensus within the group. An internal vote showed that Jordan did not have that support, but the candidate and his supporters have managed to convince (with arguments and pressure) a good part of the moderates and he has preferred to be defeated in the first instance in the plenary session so that the resisters who those who oppose his election are portrayed and identified.
The nomination of the Republican candidate has been presented by Elise Stefanik, congresswoman from New York, who has used her speech to criticize Joe Biden and present the apocalyptic vision of the United States that Trumpists subscribe to. She has presented Jordan as a “patriot and an America first warrior” and has referenced his past as a sports wrestler.
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The Democrats, for their part, have nominated their leader in the House, Hakeem Jeffries, who received the most votes in this first round, with 212 votes from his group, but with no chance of reaching the required majority. “We are here because the House has descended into chaos. "We are here because this sacred House has been brought to a breaking point by two dangerous forces, extremism and partisanship," said Democrat Pete Aguilar in plenary before launching a devastating criticism of Jordan.
“A vote today to make the architect of the abortion ban throughout the country, electoral denier and supporter of insurrection, president of this House, would be a terrible message for the country and for our allies,” Aguilar said. "We're talking about someone who has spent his entire career trying to jeopardize our national security, attempting one government shutdown after another, wasting taxpayer money on baseless investigations with dead ends, authoring the very bill that would ban abortion throughout the country without exceptions and inciting violence in this House. Even leaders of his own party have called him a 'legislative terrorist,' he added.
Jordan raises suspicions in his party for his ultra-conservative profile, but also for his refusal to recognize Biden's electoral victory. “Jim Jordan participated in Trump's conspiracy to steal the election and seize power; he urged Pence to refuse to count legal electoral votes. If Republicans elect Jordan as speaker of the House, they will be abandoning the Constitution. They will lose the majority of the House and they will deserve it,” tweeted former congresswoman Liz Cheney last week, a leading figure on the parliamentary commission that investigated the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The one who decisively supports him is the former president. “Jim Jordan will be a great speaker”, Trump said this Tuesday outside the Manhattan courthouse where he faces charges of corporate fraud. “I think he will have the votes soon, if not today in a day or two,” he added.
“Jim Jordan is an insurrectionist who has no place as second in line to the presidency. I have witnessed the deadly assault on our democracy with my own eyes, so I am absolutely disgusted that extremist Republicans could elect as their leader an insurrectionist and election denier, someone who knew about January 6th in advance and did not do so. nothing to prevent it,” former police officer Michael Fanone, one of those injured in the assault on the Capitol, said in a statement.
The election of a radical as Republican parliamentary leader would increase the risk of political deadlock in the divided United States Congress. The Senate has a Democratic majority of 51 to 49. The House of Representatives, where there are two losses, is dominated by Republicans (221 to 212). For the approval of any law, including budgetary laws, a majority is required in both. In two decisive moments, McCarthy opted to reach agreements with the Democrats. First, to suspend the debt ceiling and prevent the Government from failing to meet its financial commitments. That earned him a rebellion from the radicals of his party. Then, to approve a temporary budget extension that would avoid the partial closure of the Administration. That cost him his job. For the first time, a president of the House of Representatives was removed following a motion of censure, also presented by a congressman from the hard wing of his own party, Matt Gaetz.
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