Follow Us

Jordan not moving to third round in House speaker race, supporting McHenry as temporary speaker

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former House Speaker John Boehner had endorsed making McHenry speaker of the House temporarily. 

Published: October 19, 2023 11:31am

Updated: October 19, 2023 5:44pm

GOP Rep. Jim Jordan decided Thursday not to move forward with his bid to become the next House speaker and instead supported a proposal to elevate fellow Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry from his post as speaker pro tempore to unelected speaker with the powers of the office for a temporary period of time.

Jordan, an Ohio Republican who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, made the move after failing twice this week in full House votes to secure enough ballots to win the speakership. 

McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, was appointed to the position of speaker pro tempore after California GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the speakership post roughly two weeks ago.

The strategy of the House Republican Conference, which controls the chamber, is to put a member in place, then try to have that person preside over legislative matters until a new speaker can be elected. 

The conference has been split on choosing a new speaker, with far-right members largely opposing McCarthy and then supporting Jordan. However, moderate GOP holdouts are not budging and opposing Jordan.

Jordan will reportedly continue to try to secure enough GOP votes until January and remain the speaker designee.

Former GOP House speakers Newt Gingrich and John Boehner have supported the McHenry idea, in an attempt to try to stop what critics have called "chaos" within the conference.

However, some argue that McHenry, as an elevated temporary speaker, won't have the same authority as an elected speaker.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told Just the News on Wednesday that making McHenry speaker for 90 days would be a mistake. 

"They would be creating a Speaker Patrick McHenry for 90 days and during that 90 days will be the very, very important spending bills for the next 12 to 18 months," he said. "And so I think it'd be a mistake."

On Thursday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he is not sure if the House GOP conference would support empowering McHenry as a temporary speaker. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said he's opposed to the idea.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

Just the News Spotlight