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Ukraine-skeptic congressman loses vote for US speaker, leaves race

by Nate Ostiller October 19, 2023 9:51 PM 1 min read
Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) arrives for a House Republican members meeting as the conference continues to debate the race for Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol Oct. 19, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Republican Representative Jim Jordan agreed on Oct. 19 to temporarily halt his efforts to become Speaker of the House after losing a second vote.

Jordan endorsed a plan to keep the current interim speaker, Republican Patrick T. McHenry, in his position until January 2024.

Currently, the majority of legislative action in the U.S. Congress, including the approval of new aid packages for Ukraine, has ground to a halt after the ouster of the previous speaker, Republican Kevin McCarthy.

Jordan, a right-wing Republican known for his obstructionist behavior, has consistently voted against providing aid to Ukraine.

If elected speaker, Jordan said he would not bring Ukraine aid to the floor for a vote.

However, as his elevation to speaker became a real possibility, signs appeared that he was willing to make deals and soften his stance.

Republican Representative Michael McCaul, the more moderate House Foreign Affairs Chairman, said that Jordan was willing to tie support for Ukraine to aid for Israel in order to gain more support, according to The Hill.

It does not appear that Jordan's plan to woo moderate Republicans was successful. After endorsing McHenry to be interim speaker, Jordan reportedly will focus on solidifying majority support in the meantime.

If the plan to keep McHenry as a temporary speaker succeeds, he will be able to effectively resume the legislative process in the House, at least until January. An interim speaker has the power to bring legislation, such as funding bills for Ukraine, to a vote on the floor.

Although there is still wide support in Congress for continuing aid to Ukraine, it has become an increasingly partisan issue, with much of the resistance coming from the Republican party.

Disagreement about the inclusion of a $300 million funding package for Ukraine became a sticking point in the eventual removal of McCarthy, as some conservative members refused to vote for any spending bills that included aid for Ukraine.


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