The contest to find the next House Speaker following Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s term is causing rifts among Senate Republicans between conventional and MAGA-aligned members.
Reports suggest that many conventional Republican senators are quietly rooting for House Majority Leader Steve Scalise from Louisiana over Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio. They believe Scalise’s style is more in line with McCarthy’s.
Rep. Kevin Hern from Oklahoma, once thought to be in the running, has withdrawn his candidacy.
Those in favor of Scalise argue that his leadership would align more with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Scalise is seen as more efficient in managing critical legislation through the House.
McConnell voiced his disappointment regarding McCarthy’s departure from the role and praised their collaborative efforts. He highlighted McCarthy’s determination and regarded him as a trustworthy colleague.
Some Republican senators are concerned about the ongoing House impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, which Jordan and House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer of Kentucky are leading. They fear its potential negative impact on the 2024 elections.
Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana has publicly backed Jordan, highlighting his resilience and opposition to current policies, while former President Donald Trump also showed support for Jordan.
While many Republican senators see Scalise as an astute political leader capable of effectively countering Democrats, those in Trump’s camp view Jordan’s potential leadership as a chance for change in the capital.
Vin Weber, a GOP strategist, described the race as a typical insider-versus-outsider scenario. He mentioned that while Scalise might be more proficient in internal dealings and negotiations, Jordan could serve as a compelling voice to the public.
In recent legislative moves, Scalise supported financial aid to Ukraine, while Jordan consistently opposed it.
GOP strategist Ron Bonjean commented that Jordan’s staunch stance could be an advantage if he can assure his peers of his capability to manage the House Freedom Caucus. Bonjean added that while many Republican senators might lean towards Scalise, the final decision lies with the House Republicans who will choose their leader.