Former President Donald Trump endorsed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) to become the next Speaker of the House after Kevin McCarthy failed to secure enough votes for the role.
- Trump backed Jordan in a post on Truth Social just after midnight Friday, calling him “a STAR” and “a GREAT Speaker.”
- The endorsement came after Trump said he’d consider serving as speaker for a short time if needed.
- Jordan, a founder of the House Freedom Caucus, has support from some McCarthy allies and Republican hardliners.
- The speaker vote could happen Wednesday if the House GOP ends their civil war. Trump may visit Tuesday to unify Republicans.
Why It’s Important
The Republican-controlled House remains deeply split after denying McCarthy the gavel for speaker in a dramatic upset. While McCarthy works to garner support, Jordan and Steve Scalise have emerged as leading alternatives.
Trump’s endorsement gives Jordan’s bid a considerable advantage. The former president holds tremendous sway over the GOP, and his backing could shift dozens of votes. It may also disadvantage Scalise, whom Trump passed over.
However, Jordan still faces challenges to reach the 218 votes required. Some in the Freedom Caucus want a fresh face, while moderates are concerned with his devotion to Trump, and swing-district members resist his combative approach.
Yet Trump favors the pugnacious Jordan over McCarthy, who staunchly defended him as president. By endorsing Jordan, Trump shows his kingmaker role and ability to determine the next speaker.
The chaotic speaker race, now on its fourth vote, allows Trump to showcase his control over the Republican Party. Whether McCarthy or Jordan wins, Trump has capitalized on the turmoil to strengthen his position as de facto party leader ahead of 2024.
The speaker debacle has illuminated deep fissures within the Republican Party. Hardline conservatives in the Freedom Caucus have leverage with their slim majority, while moderates feel increasingly marginalized. Trump looms large over the divided GOP, wielding power by endorsing Jordan. His sway will shape whether Republicans can unite behind a consensus speaker pick.