Jim Jordan: Who is Donald Trump's pick for House speaker?

US Representative is fierce defender of former president and is leading impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden

Jim Jordan, US Representative, speaks about the Republicans' impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. EPA
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Former US president Donald Trump has waded in the battle for the next speaker of the US House of Representatives, endorsing loyalist Jim Jordan for the job.

The endorsement is a boon for the Republican US Representative and Trump loyalist, who is in a race with fellow Republican Steve Scalise for House speaker.

“He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement,” Mr Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.

Although Mr Jordan remains well short of the 218 votes needed to become the next House speaker, Mr Trump's endorsement gives him an edge over the House majority leader Scalise.

President Joe Biden told reporters he would try to work with whoever the House speaker is.

“Some people I imagine it will be easier to work with than others,” he said in remarks from the White House.

Mr Biden also called on House Republicans to act quickly to avoid a government shutdown.

“It's time to stop fooling around. House Republicans, it's time for you to do your job,” he said.

Who is Jim Jordan?

Mr Jordan has been one of Mr Trump's staunchest defenders since the former Celebrity Apprentice star entered the White House in 2017.

The former president even rewarded Mr Jordan in the closing weeks of his term, awarding the Ohio-born politician the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mr Jordan is currently serving his ninth term in Congress and was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus in 2015, the most hardline conservative group on Capitol Hill.

He is also chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and member of the House Oversight Committee.

Mr Jordan has used his power as judiciary chairman to issue numerous subpoenas against perceived Trump bogeymen, including FBI director Christopher Wray, Attorney General Merrick Garland and a New York prosecutor who once worked for the office investigating Mr Trump's business records.

He has also used his position to lead the Republican Party's impeachment inquiry into Mr Biden.

A sceptic of Ukraine aid, Mr Jordan's speakership would test the ability of the White House and the Senate to continue providing financial assistance to Kyiv in its war against Russia.

“The most pressing issue on Americans’ minds is not Ukraine,” Mr Jordan said this week. “It is the border situation and crime on the streets.”

There are also questions over his hardline policies and whether he can drum up support among the more moderate members in the Republican conference.

Mr Jordan was also a target of the January 6 committee, in which he defied a subpoena to answer questions over the 2021 attack on the Capitol building.

He previously ran for House speaker in 2018.

Mr Jordan is known for his refusal to wear a jacket much of the time he is in Congress, though House rules require him to wear one when is on the floor of the chamber.

In an interview with C-Span, he indicated he does not wear a jacket while sitting on committees because he does not think many witnesses are worth getting dressed up for.

“I get fired up at these witnesses who, I think, aren’t being square with me or my colleagues and, more important, the American people,” he said. “I can’t really get fired up and get into it if you’ve got some jacket slowing you down.”

Updated: October 06, 2023, 5:38 PM