Once Rep. Jim Jordan’s second attempt at being elected Speaker of the House fails, House Republicans are expected to introduce a resolution to elevate acting Speaker pro tem Patrick McHenry to the post for a limited period.
We expect Joyce to file this motion to formally elect McHenry following the second vote on Jordan’s speakership today, assuming the Ohio Republican falls short. The resolution needs 217 votes, meaning it will almost certainly need Democratic votes to pass. Republicans don’t anticipate negotiating with Democrats over the proposal — at least at the outset. We will have to see how Democrats react to the idea. But Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has floated the idea of supporting McHenry’s elevation.
A resolution of this nature could make McHenry speaker until the end of 2023 or sometime in early 2024 — or until a new speaker is elected.
If House Republicans go this route, it is safe to assume that there will be no Speaker elected until the likely Democratic takeover of the House on January 3, 2025. Avoiding a Jordan speakership should be viewed as the nation dodging a bullet, but elevating McHenry doesn’t change anything in a House polluted with Republican dysfunction.
The House will be technically operational again, but that’s it.
Republicans may waste two weeks of their time in the majority over the debacle of firing Kevin McCarthy and being unable to choose a new Speaker.
The media reports of Jim Jordan’s momentum to ascend to the speakership were likely sourced by Jordan and his allies. The momentum was never there, even if Rep. Jordan wants to keep trying to be elected Speaker, Republicans appear ready to move on.
Given the comments of Democratic Leader Jeffries that his caucus respects Patrick McHenry, Democrats may not just line up and support McHenry, but if Republicans are willing to make a deal, Jeffries and House Democrats have signaled that they will be open to it.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association