English 首页 中心简介 人员队伍 新闻动态 研究项目 学术成果 国际合作 媒体评论 图书馆 美国问题研究
US House in limbo regardless of new nominee

环球时报 2023-10-16

Representative Jim Jordan won the Republican nomination to lead the US House of Representatives on US local time Friday, after Steve Scalise announced Thursday that he was dropping out of the speaker's race. However, Chinese analysts on Sunday predicted that Jordan would continue to face great obstacles in winning the position, citing the ongoing internal power struggles between the two US parties, as well as the vicious rivalries within the party.

Experts pointed out that members of the US Congress placing partisan struggle as their highest priority will greatly hinder the effectiveness of US policymaking, and that will influence all aspects of US society, creating more confusion and uncertainty for the country.

Citing a Republican aide who spoke on condition of anonymity, Reuters reported that Jordan won the endorsement over Georgia lawmaker Austin Scott with the vote of 124-81. Jordan made a name for himself as a staunch ally of former US president Donald Trump, and Scott was an ally of ousted speaker Kevin McCarthy, CNN reported.

Jordan then called a second vote asking members if they would support him on the floor, in an effort to see if that could shrink his opposition. However, Jordan did not pick up much more support in the vote, as he won only by 152-55, according to lawmakers, meaning that about one in every four House Republicans cast a ballot against Jordan, media reported on Friday.

According to Reuters, Republicans control the chamber by a narrow 221-212 margin, meaning they can afford to lose more than four votes if Democrats vote against Jordan, as the latter are expected to do.

When the Speaker vote will head to the House floor remains unclear, but multiple lawmakers said that the earliest the vote could take place was Monday local time, the BBC reported.

Chinese analysts noted that Jordan would meet great obstacles in winning the election for House Speaker. That is due to the ongoing competition within the two major US political parties, as well as the ruthless internal struggles within the Republican Party, where the election will be used as a battlefield for stakeholders with different agendas, they said.

Given that Democratic lawmakers are unlikely to vote for Jordan, whether he can win the votes of Republican lawmakers depends on if Jordan can satisfy them through an exchange of interests, such as accommodating some of their policy agendas,Xin Qiang, deputy director of the American Studies Center of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Sunday. Even after he is elected, he will be subject to such constraints, he said.

The conflict between the two parties in the US may lead to the US' legislative process being paralyzed or at least make it extremely inefficient, Xin said. US lawmakers who put partisan party struggles ahead will undoubtedly undermine the effectiveness, and the possibility cannot be ruled out that the government may face another shutdown in November, Xin noted.

With the recent escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, hindered House operations would create more confusion and uncertainties for the US, such as its direction in foreign aid, Lü Xiang, a US studies research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday.

When it comes to major international issues, it involves how the national resources of the US are allocated, Lü said. Since the House of Representatives has significant control over the budget, different interest groups within US politics will engage in intense row over funding such as weapon investment and manpower investment, based on their own interests, he said.