The two front-runners to become the House’s next Republican speaker worked the phones and the halls of the Capitol on Thursday, vying for support from within their party’s fractured ranks as the chamber deadlocked after the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy. From California.
Reps. Steve Scalise, the majority leader, and Jim Jordan, the Judiciary Committee chairman, each made a dozen endorsements in the afternoon as they raced toward Tuesday’s tentatively scheduled Republican vote. If no consensus is reached, the election can be held the next day.
Then early Friday morning, former President Donald J. Trump’s far-right allies in Congress have helped lead the rebellion, which has thrown the House into disarray.
“Congressman Jim Jordan was a star long before he made his triumphant trip to Washington, DC” Mr. Trump wrote in a factual social message That was posted on Friday at 12:13 am. “He would be the best Speaker of the House, and would have my full and total approval!”
Mr. In Trump’s post, Mr. Scalise was not mentioned, but Rep. Troy Nels of Texas said. X, formerly of Twitter, is Mr. He said he spoke with Trump and that the former president was indeed him Mr. Supporting Jordan.
“I believe the Congress should listen to what our party leader has to say,” said Mr. Nels added.
Earlier, Mr. Jordan picked up a key GOP supporter and eliminated a potential challenger from the field with the endorsement of Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, who was exploring his own run for speaker. Legislators. Mr. On Donald’s social media platform X, Mr. Jordan “has my full support to become the next Speaker of the House!”
Mr. Scalise and Mr. Both Jordans face the difficult challenge of trying to unite a divided Republican convention, which Mr. McCarthy reeling after being removed from the speakership.
An Ohio native and co-founder of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, Mr. For Jordan, the task will be to convince more mainstream Republicans that he can govern. He met Thursday with members of the Main Street Caucus, a group of business-minded Republicans.
A Louisianan who won the convention elections as Majority Leader, Mr. For Scalise, Mr. The challenge will be to stay one step ahead of Jordan and work well with the right wing of the party.
Mr. Both are considered further to the right than McCarthy, Mr. Rep. Matt Getz of Florida, who led the push to oust McCarthy, noted with satisfaction.
“If it’s Speaker Jim Jordan or Speaker Steve Scalise, there will be very few conservatives in the country who don’t see that as an enormous upgrade over Speaker McCarthy,” Mr. Gates said.
Some right-wing Republicans say Mr. They are encouraging Trump to run for Speaker. Although the current convention rules of the party The fact that he is on multiple felony charges and faces significant prison time will prevent him from doing so.
Speaking Wednesday outside a Manhattan court where he faces a civil fraud case, Mr. Trump, who seemed happy to dangle the prospect of running for speaker, told reporters: “A lot of people call me about speaker. All I can say is that we will do what is best for the country and the Republican Party.
“If I can help them during the process, I will,” he added.
Once again a fierce rivalry developed in the halls of Congress.
Mr. who has been in charge since 2014. Scalise has built relationships at the Republican convention through one-on-one calls with members as he quietly defends pledges.
In such calls for support, Mr. Mr. McCarthy said he was second only to McCarthy, and that he had locked up several pledges from the South and Midwest. Scalise insisted. The calls, who described them on condition of anonymity.
“Steve is not only a principled conservative, but he has overcome adversity beyond the infighting in our convention right now,” said Representative Ashley Hinson of Iowa, who is Mr.
Mr. Scalise and Mr. A clear point of contention between the Jordanians is their bellicose stance on continuing to aid Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression, which has become increasingly politicized and is now viewed as toxic by many Republicans.
Mr. Jordan is one, while Mr.
“Why should we send US tax dollars to Ukraine when we don’t even know the destination?” Mr. Jordan said Thursday on Fox News. “Nobody can tell what its purpose is.”
Many Republicans said they were waiting to hear more from the candidates before deciding who to support.
Representative Mark Molinaro of New York, Mr. Scalise and Mr. Jordan said he spoke to both on the phone.
“There really isn’t anyone in Congress who has worked harder to get into Congress or get my support than Kevin McCarthy,” Mr. Molinaro said.
“We have people who are here for a week now,” he added. “So I’m going to listen, I’m going to listen, I’m going to demand that members like me and the people we represent be at the table and then make a decision.”
Robert Jimison Contributed report.