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User’s manual to House gambit to temporarily sidetrack Jordan and install McHenry as interim speaker

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, won’t face another round of voting for speaker today. He was expected to lose additional votes.

So Jordan is now getting behind an interim plan to empower House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., as acting speaker on a temporary basis. Jordan would remain the GOP “nominee” for speaker and try to round up the votes by January. However, it is unclear that Jordan could EVER get the votes to become speaker considering how upset members are at him for purported strong-arm tactics.

Here’s the problem: Empowering a speaker pro tempore is historic, and the situation is mostly unprecedented. There are major legal, constitutional and parliamentary questions about this gambit. And it is far from clear thar House Republicans are even remotely close to backing this plan. 

The House has never had an “acting speaker.” Any legislation approved by Congress during this interregnum could potentially face a court challenge.

Members are really up in arms about the McHenry plan – despite Jordan’s backing. So, it’s hard to see if this in fact becomes the plan the House goes with. 

Over the past several months, House Republicans have quickly crafted a plan on the debt ceiling, spending bills, an interim spending package and even two euthanized candidacies for speaker – and abandoned that very scheme hours later.

It is too early to tell if this is the route for the “McHenry Plan.” But there is stark opposition from many Republicans.

Chad Pergram currently serves as a senior congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in September 2007 and is based out of Washington, D.C.


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