Allies of ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) are working to undercut House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) bid for the speakership.
According to Axios, allies of McCarthy are making calls behind the scenes urging lawmakers to hold off on endorsing Scalise in the race for speaker against House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
“It’s definitely true that McCarthy through surrogates is calling members to support Jordan,” a lawmaker told the outlet.
But, a spokesperson for McCarthy denied the allegations, telling Axios, “no one has been making calls.”
Jordan and Scalise are the only lawmakers to announce they are running for speaker after a Republican-led effort to remove McCarthy from the position was successful. The chairman of the Republican Study Committee Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) is also expected to get into the race.
Former Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger predicted that Jordan will prevail in the end because his candidacy will be a “litmus test” for conservatives.
“Jim is gonna be now the new litmus test of, are you a true conservative or not? Steve Scalise won’t be. It’ll be Jim Jordan,” Kinzinger said during an appearance on AC360 Wednesday.
“I certainly hope for the country I’m wrong. But I’ll also say this. If he becomes speaker, it will be interesting to see how a shut-it-all-down kind of guy actually governs a country,” he added.