Jordan won't run for Oversight gavel

Jordan won't run for Oversight gavel
© Greg Nash

Conservative favorite Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) won't run for chairman of the House Oversight Committee, an aide confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday.

Jordan, a member of the committee and former chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, was thought to be interested in taking over for outgoing panel Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzThe myth of the conservative bestseller Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records MORE (R-Utah)

Chaffetz is leaving Congress at the end of June, which opens up one of the most coveted committee gavels.

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The House Steering Committee, which determines committee assignments, is largely comprised of GOP leaders and their allies. The Freedom Caucus has clashed repeatedly with GOP leaders, particularly when it pushed then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks MORE (R-Ohio) to resign in 2015.

Jordan conceded last week that despite being third in seniority on the panel, he was unlikely to get the necessary support from the Steering Committee.

"I love the work on the committee. I think I would have strong support amongst committee members,” Jordan said. “But, I mean, let’s be honest. The process for determining the chairman is not the makeup of — it’s not a vote of the members on the committee. It’s a vote on the Steering Committee." 

“And that process is not always the one that’s most favorable to guys like me who don’t always go along with the establishment,” he added.

Jordan unsuccessfully ran for the Oversight gavel in 2014, losing to Chaffetz in a four-way race.

The House Oversight Committee is stacked with Freedom Caucus members, many of whom wanted Jordan to become the next chairman.

But Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdySunday shows preview: Election integrity dominates as Nov. 3 nears Tim Scott invokes Breonna Taylor, George Floyd in Trump convention speech Sunday shows preview: Republicans gear up for national convention, USPS debate continues in Washington MORE (R-S.C.), who's eighth in seniority, is considered the front-runner for the post should he choose to pursue it. The Hill reported that Gowdy was reaching out to Steering Committee members about the Oversight gavel.

He gained a national profile during the 2016 presidential race for chairing the select committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The committee's probe led to the public revelation that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot Poll: 51 percent of voters want to abolish the electoral college MORE used a private email server during her tenure as secretary of State, an issue that dogged her Democratic presidential campaign.

A Gowdy spokeswoman said Tuesday that he hasn't made a decision yet.

So far, only Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) has formally announced a bid for the Oversight post. The second-term lawmaker is considered a long-shot given that he's 18th in seniority on the committee.