“Sunday Morning Futures” anchor Maria Bartiromo said to Jordan, “Tell me what your first directive would be as speaker,” to which the Ohio Republican responded, “to help the state of Israel.”
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 8, 2023
“There will be some resolution on the floor to support the state of Israel,” Jordan said. He added that there will be consultations with House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and the Senate.
“We will work with the State Department and the White House,” Jordan continued. “But that is something that I think gets bipartisan, bicameral, full support from the United States government, because, again, this is our great friend and great ally, the state of Israel.”
The GOP-led House voted last week to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker with a handful of GOP lawmakers raising objections to his leadership. Eight Republicans joined with Democrats to vote McCarthy out of the position.
In the days that followed, after McCarthy said he would not run another campaign for the position, two GOP members declared they would seek the speaker’s gavel: House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Jordan, who is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Democrats are likely to rally behind someone such as Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). Like Jordan, Scalise and Jeffries have condemned Hamas and declared support for Israel. Jordan has the backing of former President Donald Trump.
There has been some debate over the past 36 hours about how the United States may be temporarily hamstrung in its ability to respond to the conflict in Israel because of the speaker vacuum. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) is serving as speaker pro tempore in the short term, an unusual situation that led to questions about his ability to gain access to intelligence reports and whether the House can pass measures in the interim.
But the issue may not last too much longer. Once most GOP members agree to rally behind a single candidate, a chamber-wide vote on the next House speaker could happen as early as next week. A simple majority is needed to secure victory.
In the meantime, the White House said President Joe Biden has “directed additional support for Israel in the face of this unprecedented terrorist assault by Hamas,” according to a press pool report on Sunday.
Though Jordan indicated that Israel would be “front and center” for him as speaker, he said his next focus would be spending legislation, as a possible government shutdown could happen in mid-November once a six-week continuing resolution expires.
“The next order of business is to deal with what’s coming on November 17,” Jordan said. “And I will outline a plan that I think we have to have.”