WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, was named ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee late Thursday, hours after ending a bid to become the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.
As top Republican on the committee, Jordan, who ran unsuccessfully for the Oversight committee chairmanship in 2015, will be the top Republican to fight off any investigations of President Donald Trump in the new Congress. The committee is considered the top investigatory committee in the U.S. House, and as a member of the House committee, Jordan was heavily involved into investigations into the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, Benghazi and FBI handling of investigations into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.
The surprise announcement came after Jordan abruptly dropped a bid to lead the House Judiciary Committee after “it was made clear to him that leadership will be selecting someone else,” said Ian Fury, a Jordan spokesman. As a candidate for that committee, he faced Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati, and Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, was ultimately selected for the Judiciary position.
Jordan, an Urbana Republican, is a leader of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Although Jordan is widely admired by House conservatives, he has long been an irritant to more-establishment Republicans, including former House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester.
Two weeks ago, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., easily defeated Jordan by a vote of 159-to-43 to become minority leader in January. McCarthy, currently the GOP majority leader, will relinquish that title when Democrats take control of the House.