Jordan announces bid for Speaker

Jordan announces bid for Speaker
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJordan, Meadows backed by new ads from pro-Trump group: report Jordan jokes that sport coats inhibit him during heated hearings Attorney previously in contact with Cohen pushes back on pardon narrative to CNN MORE (R-Ohio) announced his bid for Speaker on Thursday afternoon in a letter to colleagues asking for their support.

"President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE has taken bold action on behalf of the American people," Jordan wrote in the Dear Colleague Letter released exclusively to The Hill. "Congress has not held up its end of the deal, but we can change that."

Jordan wrote that his first focus is maintaining Republican control of the House.

"After that, we can focus on filling the vacancy resulting from Speaker Ryan's retirement from Congress," he wrote. "At that time, I plan to run for Speaker of the House to bring real change to Congress."

In his letter, he emphasized his priorities of repealing the Affordable Care Act, building a security wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and fixing the "broken immigration system."

"Many believe that our congressional majorities have let them down," he wrote. "Beyond tax relief and regulatory reform, the American people want us to follow through with our promises."

The Daily Caller first reported the Ohio Republican's plans, which were confirmed to The Hill.

Jordan has been floated as a possible candidate to replace current Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFormer Dem candidate says he faced cultural barriers on the campaign trail because he is working-class Former House candidate and ex-ironworker says there is 'buyer's remorse' for Trump in Midwest Head of top hedge fund association to step down MORE (R-Wis.) since Ryan's announcement in April that he would not be seeking reelection. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Ryan, however, said on Thursday that he would not support Jordan as his replacement.

"I’m not going to be here," he said. "I support [House Majority Leader] Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse leaders need to modernize Congress for the sake of America Overnight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide MORE (R-Calif.). Everybody knows that."

McCarthy, who failed to garner the required votes to become Speaker in 2015, confirmed publicly on Wednesday that he is eyeing another bid for the gavel.

In recent weeks, Jordan's bid for Speaker has been hampered by allegations from former wrestlers at Ohio State University (OSU) claiming that Jordan turned a blind eye to reports of sexual abuse when he coached at OSU.

Former wrestlers have accused Dr. Richard Strauss, the OSU wrestling team doctor from the mid-1970s to 1990s, of sexually assaulting them during his tenure with the team. Jordan, who was OSU’s assistant wrestling coach from 1986 to 1994, has said multiple times he was not aware of the abuse until players began speaking publicly about it earlier this year. 

GOP lawmakers have come out in support of Jordan, including the conservative voting bloc the House Freedom Caucus, which he cofounded.

A group of former wrestlers and OSU coaches has also stated on the record that they do not believe Jordan knew about the abuse. 

Jordan's bid for Speaker comes one day after he and Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsJordan, Meadows backed by new ads from pro-Trump group: report Trump keeps tight grip on GOP Dems fear Trump is looking at presidential pardons MORE (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinTrump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game Jeff Sessions returns to Justice Department to retrieve Cabinet chair MORE, the top Department of Justice (DOJ) official overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's Russia investigation.

The articles of impeachment, signed with nine other GOP lawmakers, charge that Rosenstein has a conflict of interest in Mueller's probe, and obfuscated information for ongoing investigations into the FBI and DOJ's conduct during the 2016 presidential election.

Jordan on Wednesday night said he and Meadows believe Rosenstein has "stonewalled" efforts by Congress to obtain documents necessary for their investigations.

"We’re tired of the Justice Department giving us the finger and not giving us the information," he told Fox News host Laura Ingraham on her show, "The Ingraham Angle."

Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerTrump keeps tight grip on GOP Republicans up for reelection fear daylight with Trump GOP lawmaker offers bill letting NCAA athletes profit from their image MORE (R-N.C.), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, on Thursday came out in opposition against Rosenstein's impeachment. He told reporters on Capitol Hill that he would vote against any effort to impeach Rosenstein.

– Scott Wong contributed to this report, which was updated at 12:44 p.m.