Discover more from Supercreator
House Dems brand Jordan as threat to democracy
The GOP’s latest pick for speaker is too extreme on the policies that matter and too cozy with Donald Trump to lead the People’s House, Democratic leaders said this afternoon.
The House heads into its second straight weekend without a speaker as Republicans cycled through a series of closed-door meetings and public intraparty conflicts this week in search of a successor to the ousted KEVIN McCARTHY (R-Calif.).
The current frontrunner for the top spot is Rep. JIM JORDAN (R-Ohio), the hot-headed chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a far-right ideologue who has yet to serve in elected House leadership—and someone who showed little interest in doing so until McCarthy was booted.
House Democrats took to the East Front steps of the US Capitol Friday evening to sound the alarm against Jordan after the first nominee Republicans designated for the speakership—House Majority Leader STEVE SCALISE (R-La.)—withdrew his candidacy on Thursday night soon after he realized he had no path to victory.
“House Republicans have selected as their nominee to be the speaker of the People’s House the chairman of the Chaos Caucus, a defender in a dangerous way of dysfunction, and extremist extraordinaire,” House Minority Leader HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-N.Y.) said of the 59-year-old Jordan.
Jeffries added that Jordan has passed zero bills in the House in 16 years in Congress, an example of the Ohio lawmakers’ misplaced priorities.
“His focus has not been on the American people,” Jeffries said. “His focus has been on peddling lies and conspiracy theories and driving amongst the American people.”
House Minority Whip KATHERINE CLARK (D-Mass.) added that by choosing Jordan, House Republicans are ultimately choosing to appease former President DONALD TRUMP, who endorsed Jordan last week.
“Pause and think about who they are rallying around: Jim Jordan’s own colleagues have called him a ‘legislative terrorist,’” Clark said while pointing to votes for anti-abortion policies and against funding the government, protecting Social Security and Medicare,
and certifying the 2020 presidential election. “He has used his committee gavel to advance right-wing conspiracies while undermining the very institution that he serves. And he will inflict even more harm if he is allowed to have the speaker’s gavel.”
PETE AGUILAR, the House Democratic Caucus chair and a former committee member to investigate the Jan. 6th Capitol attack, said Jordan’s rhetoric and partisanship fomented the insurrection. (Jordan ignored a lawful subpoena from the committee last May because he said it was unconstitutional. In her perch on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, he has called out the Biden administration for doing the same.)
“He has one objective: Hurt President Biden politically and help elect Donald Trump—no matter the cost to our country, no matter the cost to our democratic norms,” Aguilar added. “Jim Jordan is a Donald Trump-endorsed MAGA darling.”
Supercreator News is the website and newsletter creators of all kinds read to make sense of what’s happening in Congress and national politics. Upgrade to paid today.
A frozen House comes at a cost.
The temporary government funding patch expires in a month setting the country on a course towards another shutdown crisis.
The Biden administration claimed on Friday morning that North Korea has provided Russia with more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and munitions that the White House believes Russia will use to attack Ukrainian cities, kill Ukrainian civilians, and further their unlawful war. (In exchange, the administration says North Korea is seeking fighter aircraft surface-to-air missiles, armored vehicles, ballistic missile production equipment or other materials, and other advanced technologies.)
In related news, the White House said it appears Russia has launched a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine. National Security Council spokesperson JOHN KIRBY said the US is confident in Ukraine’s ability to beat back Russian forces and to defend itself but that the offensive is a reminder that Russia is not ready to give up on President VLADIMIR PUTIN’s fight.
“That’s why it's critical that Congress keeps its commitment to the Ukrainian people and takes action to sustain our support. The world is watching and of course we must stand with Ukraine and with the global community because in these days in the 21st century, we can’t just afford to turn a blind eye to war crimes and atrocities and allow a dictator to conquer or carve up a neighbor’s territory.”
And, of course, Israel is now mired in a war against the terrorist group Hamas that will require US support to ensure the US’s closest ally in the Middle East can defend itself.
None of these issues can be addressed through legislation until the House has a speaker.
House Democrats aren’t the only ones—despite endorsements from many high-profile Republicans, including Trump and McCarthy—who feel Jordan is unfit for the job though.
In a secret ballot this afternoon 81 House Republicans voted against Jordan and in favor of Rep. AUSTIN SCOTT, a GOP congressman from Georgia who entered the race hours before the vote and did not campaign for the position. (124 House Republicans voted for Jordan to be their nominee for speaker.)
And moments later in a separate vote, 55 of Jordan’s colleagues said they wouldn’t vote for Jordan on the floor—far short of the 217-vote threshold he must meet to win a floor vote. FYI: With full attendance, Jordan can lose just four votes. House Republicans adjourned for the weekend this evening to allow Jordan to sway his skeptics. But it’s unlikely he’ll be able to flip them all by an expected floor vote early next week.
House Democrats feel this will be time wasted anyway.
Since McCarthy was ousted last week, Jeffries and company have been consistent: No House Republican will earn the 217 votes required to win the speaker’s gavel without Democratic support.
Their solution? The two parties should enter into a bipartisan governing coalition that allows the House to reopen and marginalizes the handful of conservative rebels that have constantly ground the chamber to a halt.
“There are only two paths forward. On the one hand, House Republicans can continue to triple down on the chaos, the dysfunction, and the extremism that has been visited upon the American people as a result of the House Republicans’ civil war,” Jeffries said. On the other hand, traditional Republicans can break away from the extreme, partner with Democrats on an enlightened bipartisan path forward so we can end the recklessness and get back to doing the business of the American people.”
Clark added that the unity among House Democrats is what Americans are seeking as an antidote to the chaos.
“We stand for the values of American people. And we work every day to make those ideals of liberty and equality and justice for all a reality,” Clark said. “We believe in the reasons that we were sent here. We believe in raising the voices who don’t often have them in the halls of power here in Congress.”
Aguilar said that despite the Republican disharmony, House Democrats’ hands are extended in bipartisanship.
“Let’s pass bills that improve the lives of everyday Americans,” he said. “No default, no shutdown, and no more chaos.”