Administration

Biden: Some Speaker candidates would be easier to work with than others

President Biden on Friday pledged to work with whoever becomes the next House Speaker, but he acknowledged some candidates for the job would be easier to work with than others.

Biden, after delivering remarks on the September jobs report, was asked about former President Trump backing Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for Speaker as Republicans debate who will replace the recently ousted Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

“Look, whoever the House speaker is, I’m going to try to work with. They control half the Congress, and I’m going to try to work with them,” Biden said. “Some people I imagine it’s going to be easier to work with than others, but whoever the Speaker is, I’m going to try to work with.”

Jordan, a longtime Trump ally and former leader of the House Freedom Caucus, is pursuing the Speaker’s gavel, as is House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.). Other Republicans, such as Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), have yet to formally decide whether they will run for the top job in the House.

Biden has repeatedly said he will work with whoever the eventual Speaker is, and the White House has avoided weighing in on whether it has a preferred candidate.

But McCarthy’s removal earlier this week after eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting to oust the California Republican, following a motion brought by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), could complicate the White House’s priorities.

Government funding will run out in November without additional congressional action, and the lack of a Speaker in the meantime will shorten the window for passing funding bills.

Additionally, the White House in August sent Congress a supplemental funding request that included $24 million in military and financial assistance for Ukraine as it fights off invading Russian forces. But Jordan in particular has been skeptical about continued U.S. aid to Ukraine, and if he wins the gavel, it could become more difficult for the White House to secure its requested funds for Kyiv.

Tags Jim Jordan Joe Biden Kevin Hern Kevin McCarthy speaker race Steve Scalise

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