House Speaker Campaign Continues With Jordan’s Candidacy
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Fiscal conservative, animated debater, Judiciary Committee chairman: Will Rep. Jim Jordan become the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives?
The Ohio Republican recently won the Republican nomination to ascend to the role of speaker. Ahead of the chamber’s likely consideration this week of his candidacy, Jordan emphasized his agenda.
“The Republican majority must continue to address the issues that matter to the American people. We must address rising crime in major cities and reject soft-on-crime, pro-criminal policies,” he wrote colleagues this month. “We must get our fiscal house in order and reduce spending so that we can leave more to the next generation than a crushing deficit. We must do our constitutional oversight of the federal bureaucracy to ensure they work for the American people — not the other way around. And we must continue working to secure the border and protect our national security.”
Jordan’s bid for speaker came after the Republican conference opted not to unify around Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.). The ouster this month of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has placed the chamber in this position.
At issue for Congress is the basic task of governing. While House Republicans have an interim leader in Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), an elected speaker is requisite for most legislative functions. This includes proceeding with the necessary funding appropriations process.
Currently, federal funding authority expires Nov. 17. This is because the House and Senate approved a last-minute funding plan that averted a partial government shutdown. A simple question for Jordan with regard to funding is: Would he commit to averting a shutdown in mid-November?
This year, the founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus has advanced high-profile political theories about the Biden White House. Jordan also remains a staunch defender of policies promoted by President Joe Biden’s immediate predecessor, Donald Trump. And during his nearly two decades in Congress, he has often put himself in the center of major political and policy debates.
The search for a new speaker sidelined consideration of a bill designed to fund the Department of Transportation through fiscal 2024. Floor debate on the transportation measure was scheduled for earlier this month. The freight transportation community is unanimous in calling on Congress to prevent a shutdown. They argue a shutdown scenario would lead to an array of disruptions for infrastructure construction operations and the supply chain.
“The chamber commends those in Congress who voted on a bipartisan basis to reach an agreement on a short-term budget solution. While brinksmanship is never the answer, we are pleased that the ‘adults’ stepped up to prevent a shutdown and the direct harm it would have caused to millions of Americans and American small businesses who would have been impacted beginning at midnight,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley said Sept. 30. He continued, “We urge Congress to use these 45 days to complete the appropriations process, provide the urgently needed funding to support Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression and take steps to secure the border.”
Long before the House found itself scrambling to land a new speaker, the chamber had experienced its share of political earthquakes. The series of self-inflicted funding crises and leadership fights in Washington have culminated in what the nation is witnessing.
The Week Ahead (all times Eastern)
Oct. 18, 10 a.m.: Senate Commerce Committee hearing to consider nomination of Michael Whitaker to lead the Federal Aviation Administration. The panel also will consider the nominations of Anthony Rosario Coscia, Christopher Koos and Joel Matthew Szabat to serve on Amtrak’s board of directors. Watch the hearing here.
Oct. 19, 10 a.m.: House Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee meets for a hearing titled, “Regional Commissions: A Review of Federal Economic Development Program Effectiveness.” Witnesses include Corey Wiggins, federal co-chairman, Delta Regional Authority; Chris Saunders, federal co-chairman, Northern Border Regional Commission; and Jennifer Clyburn Reed, federal co-chairman, Southeast Crescent Regional Commission.
A bill designed to strengthen operations along domestic supply chains was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sponsored by Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the Strategic Homeland Investment in Economic and Logistical Defense (SHIELD) Act would establish an Office of Economic and Security Preparedness and Resilience.
According to the legislation, the new office would “determine requirements, set priorities and coordinate efforts among federal agencies and industry to continuously map, monitor and analyze supply chains that are critical to the national security of the United States.”
“As the COVID-19 pandemic made horribly clear, America’s reliance on China for making basic things like medicine and critical minerals is a huge liability. Our bill would shine a light on where other such vulnerabilities exist and help revitalize our industrial base to fix them,” Banks said Sept. 26.
DeLauro added: “Our overdependence on foreign manufacturing has hampered our ability to quickly respond to supply chain challenges and meet the needs of America and its citizens. There is no reason we should depend on foreign adversaries for essential goods: from technology, to critical minerals, to ingredients for our life-saving drugs.”
American Trucking Associations’ annual Management Conference & Exhibition in Austin, Texas, is showcasing insight, perspective and analysis meant to boost appreciation and understanding about the industry. Being held through Oct. 17 at the Austin Convention Center, the event’s theme is: “The Rhythm of Change: Navigating the Future of Trucking.”
Per ATA: “Trucking is evolving. From new regulations and emerging technologies to political and economic uncertainties, our industry must adapt to change. We’ll focus on trucking’s top concerns and the path forward for your business.”
Wanted: A speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Overheard on Capitol Hill
Transportation Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) on Speaker race: “I think Austin wins. He was good on his feet in there. Made a good presentation” — Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 13, 2023
The Last Word
We are pleased to expand the Regional Infrastructure Accelerator program to 24 regions.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Oct. 13Image