Republicans vote to withdraw Jim Jordan as speaker candidate after his third defeat | International

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The Republicans have put the House of Representatives in a dead end. The extremist Jim Jordan, the candidate supported by former President Donald Trump to preside, lost the third vote for the position this Friday. He has been defeated by a greater margin even though it has been Kevin McCarthy himself, dismissed 17 days ago, who has swallowed the toad of nominating him in plenary. Not even that has served to overcome the resistance of moderate Republicans, who refuse to bow to one of the most radical members of their party. Jordan has achieved only 194 votes, 23 of what he would need with all the congressmen present and 5 less than in the previous vote. Later, in a secret vote within the parliamentary group, the Republicans voted to withdraw his candidacy. Start again.

Jordan's new failure leaves the House inoperative on the same day that the president, Joe Biden, has requested the approval of a $105 billion package with aid intended primarily for Ukraine, but also for Israel, for humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip and to reinforce control of the border with Mexico. To move forward, he needs the approval of both the Senate, with a Democratic majority, and the Congress, dominated by Republicans and currently blocked. The Republicans have called a meeting of the parliamentary group for Monday afternoon to try to agree on a new candidate.

In his speech before the plenary session, McCarthy had introduced Jordan by saying that he is “an effective legislator,” which has unleashed laughter and ridicule from the Democratic caucus, since he has not proposed a single law in his years as a congressman. The former president of the House has argued that his work as president of the judicial commission is more important than having promoted a legal text himself.

Democrats have also laughed and protested when McCarthy has described Jordan as someone who seeks compromise. Jordan was 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 presidential election. He is a co-founding member and leading member of the Freedom Caucus, to which they belong members of the radical wing of the Republican Party in the House. He has been a faithful defender of Trump and a relentless, almost inquisitorial, persecutor of the current president, Joe Biden. A previous House speaker from his own party called him a “legislative terrorist” and he has served more as an agent of chaos than as a consensus seeker.

"Be speaker It is not an easy job, especially in this group,” McCarthy had acknowledged. “But I've seen that Jim has spent his entire career fighting for freedom no matter what, no matter the odds. And I know that he is prepared for the job,” he maintained before his defeat. Opposite, Democrat Katherine Clark defined him as “a threat to democracy.”

Threats of death

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Several of the Republican congressmen who did not vote for him have publicly denounced pressures and threats to support Jordan that have proven counterproductive. “One thing I cannot stand or support is a bully,” Iowa Republican Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who voted against Jordan in the second vote and claims to have received “threats” as a result, said in a statement. "credible deaths and a barrage of threatening calls," which he has reported to the authorities.

“As soon as you try to influence through external groups that try to intimidate, in that nanosecond, it's over,” said representative Mario Díaz-Balart, one of those who have opposed the Trump candidate from the beginning, who has distanced himself from the threats.

In the third vote, Jordan has lost support compared to the previous two, but he did not seem willing to throw in the towel. “There have been multiple rounds of voting for president before. We all know. I just know that we need a speaker as soon as possible to be able to work for the American people,” he had indicated hours before the vote in a press conference. “I am still a candidate for the presidency of the House of Representatives and I plan to go to the chamber, get the votes and win this election,” he had said in the morning at an event in which he apparently closed the door to the option of giving temporary powers to the Acting Speaker Patrick McHenry to avoid a House gridlock.

In the first vote, 20 Republicans turned their backs on him and in the second, 22 denied him the vote. In the third, there have been 25 defections and two absences in his group, despite the fact that Jordan has been meeting with Republicans who have denied him support.

After his third defeat in the plenary session, the youth wrestling champion has been knocked out by his own group. It is not known when there will be a new vote, but the Republicans will have to have a new candidate by then. On Monday they meet to try to reach a consensus.

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