Jordan ends hopes of leading Judiciary for House GOP

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by Amgen — For Republicans, fight over fetal tissue research comes back to Planned Parenthood | CDC traces contaminated romaine lettuce to California farm | Dems aim to punt vote on ObamaCare taxes For Republicans, fight over fetal tissue research comes back to Planned Parenthood Meadows looks to make his move MORE (R-Ohio) is bowing out of the race for ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, his spokesman told The Hill.

Jordan was encouraged by fellow conservatives to run for the high-profile committee role amid expectations that Democrats will be issuing a slew of investigations into President TrumpDonald John TrumpAustralia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israeli capital, won't move embassy Mulvaney will stay on as White House budget chief Trump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law MORE and his administration next Congress.

“He won’t be seeking the position, it has been made clear to him that leadership is going to be selecting someone else,” said Jordan’s spokesman, Ian Fury.

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Questions of whether Jordan would officially throw his name and his energy into the contested race circled until the final day of when he would need to declare his interest in the role.

Leading up to this decision, Republican lawmakers cast doubt on whether Jordan has enough allies in the GOP conference to make it through the steering committee, a voting body largely controlled by Republican leadership.

Jordan, a leading voice in the conservative House Freedom Caucus, challenged House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump leaves GOP in turmoil with shutdown looming McCarthy calls on incoming Democrats to embrace bipartisanship, not 'food fight' or investigations GOP congresswoman says she opted out of NRCC run because McCarthy had 'a different plan' MORE (R-Calif.) for minority leader of the House Republican Conference — a move that may have further alienated his relations with members of the Republican Steering Committee and GOP leadership.

Some GOP lawmakers have privately questioned whether Jordan would be a thorn in leadership’s side if he were named the Judiciary Committee's attack dog.

Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsFox News host: Comey claiming memory lapses ‘not fair’ to people with real memory problems GOP struggles to find right Republican for Rules Criminal justice reform splits 2020 Democrats MORE (R-Ga.), the vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, is currently seen as the front-runner in the race. Rep. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotHouse passes resolution calling for release of Reuters journalists jailed in Myanmar This week: Lawmakers return to mourn George H.W. Bush Let’s fund clean energy, not a border wall  MORE (R-Ohio) is also seeking the position. 

There is a possibility that Jordan could change course and pursue the ranking member role of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where his close House ally Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump names Mulvaney acting chief of staff GOP lawmaker predicts Kushner will be Trump’s next chief of staff Chris Christie declines White House chief of staff role MORE (R-N.C.) is currently running uncontested.

Jordan is the senior GOP member of Oversight returning to the next Congress and is active on both panels, including their joint investigation into FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) decision-making during the 2016 presidential election. Meadows has been deeply involved in the probe as well.

Some congressional sources believe the amiable Meadows might have a better shot of winning the post in a contest with Jordan, however. They say Meadows is well-liked among the GOP conference.

It is unclear whether Meadows would defer to Jordan for the ranking member position of Oversight.