Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH) has officially announced his bid to replace Paul Ryan as speaker of the house, as first reported by the Daily Caller.
“Should the American people entrust us with the majority again in the 116th Congress, I plan to run for Speaker of the House to bring real change to the House of Representatives,” Jordan said in a Thursday statement. “President Trump has taken bold action on behalf of the American people. Congress has not held up its end of the deal, but we can change that. It’s time to do what we said.”
Thursday’s announcement would be the first time Jordan directly said whether or not he is running. The congressman had repeatedly said leading up to the announcement that there was no speaker’s race, but the he was entertaining the idea of throwing his name in the hat. -Daily Caller
“There is no speaker’s race,” Jordan told TheDCNF in April. “If and when there is, my colleagues have urged me to consider it, and I’m open to that. The focus is not on who the speaker is; the focus is on what we do. The key is: We have got to get back to what the American people sent us here to do.”
Ryan announced that he will not seek re-election this November in order to "spend more time with his family" so as not to be a "weekend" father, he told reporters. Meanwhile, both top ranked House Republicans Kevin McCarthy (CA) and Steve Scalise (LA) have been eager for Ryan's seat.
McCarthy failed to garner the 218 required votes to become speaker in 2015, but his particularly close relationship with President Donald Trump is expected to give him a potential upper hand over Scalise in the coming months. Scalise wouldn’t rule out a potential bid for Ryan’s job but is also adamant he would not run against McCarthy, who he considers a “good friend,” he said in March. -Daily Caller
Jordan's bid for the Speakership comes amid an announcement by freedom caucus co-founder Mark Meadows that he is backing off efforts to impeach Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein following several meetings with Republican leadership, reports The Hill. Meadows will instead attempt to hold Rosenstein in contempt.
"I think the very first order of business would be moving the House to a contempt vote," said Meadows, adding "I think it is our desire to have more of a contempt process, which obviously has to have a partner with the Speaker, and I think hopefully they will at least acknowledge we've made some reasonable concessions to give DOJ and FBI."
Jordan is currently navigating a scandal dating back as far as 32 years, when he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State between 1986 and 1994, when team doctor Richard Strauss allegedly molested teammates and students. Seven former OS wrestlers have come out against Jordan in recent weeks for reportedly failing to do anything about Strauss' behavior - however Jordan says he didn't know anything about the alleged incidents.