Jordan announces bid for Speaker

Jordan announces bid for Speaker
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHouse Freedom Caucus votes to condemn Amash's impeachment comments Amash storm hits Capitol Hill Ohio governor calls to eliminate statute of limitations for sex crimes after OSU doctor abuse report MORE (R-Ohio) announced his bid for Speaker on Thursday afternoon in a letter to colleagues asking for their support.

"President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure 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 RyanAmash storm hits Capitol Hill Debate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 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 McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Buzz grows Rep. Amash will challenge Trump as a Libertarian 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 MeadowsAmash storm hits Capitol Hill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - After GOP infighting, Trump Jr. agrees to testify again On The Money: House chairman issues subpoenas for Trump's tax returns | Trump touts trade talks as China, US fail to reach deal | Five things to know about Trump's trade war with China | GOP offers support for Trump on tariffs MORE (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinKlobuchar: 'Don't think' there are reasons to investigate Mueller probe's origins Democrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Barr dismisses contempt vote as part of 'political circus' MORE, the top Department of Justice (DOJ) official overseeing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) 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 WalkerNCAA to consider allowing student athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness Members spar over sexual harassment training deadline Colorado state senators plan to introduce bill to let NCAA athletes get paid 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.