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Jim Jordan to run for House GOP leader

November 7, 2018 GMT

Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and one of the House’s conservative firebrands, announced Wednesday he is running to become the GOP’s new House leader in the next Congress.

Shorn of the majority, Republicans will be electing a minority leader as their chief, along with a whip as their No. 2 post.

It’s likely he’ll face off against Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current majority leader. Both man had said they would run to be speaker if the GOP had maintained the majority.

Mr. Jordan has said his leadership bid is based on the GOP failing to fulfill President Trump’s agenda.

“Have we replaced ObamaCare yet? Have we secured the border yet? Have we reformed welfare yet? No,” he told The Hill, a politics news outlet.

Mr. Jordan’s own legislative record is thin. He’s made his mark more in blocking bills and creating headaches for GOP leaders as he tried to push them away from deals with Democrats, than in getting his own legislation through.

The Ohio congressman played a key role in pushing the House GOP to orchestrate the 2013 government shutdown in a bid to try to force the president to defund Obamacare. Republicans caved after 16 days, and Obamacare remains largely intact.

Former House Speaker John A. Boehner later labeled Mr. Jordan a “legislative terrorist.”

That approach has, however, endeared Mr. Jordan to a number of conservative lobby groups, who’d announced support for his speaker’s bid.

Unlike the speaker’s vote, which happens in the whole House, the GOP vote for leader is purely an internal affair within the House Republican Conference, so a simple majority of Republican members is enough to prevail.