Jim Jordan picked to be top Republican on Judiciary panel

By Melanie Zanona

House GOP lawmakers have picked Rep. Jim Jordan — one of President Donald Trump’s most loyal allies on Capitol Hill — to be the next top Republican on the powerful House Judiciary Committee.

And retiring Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), another top Trump defender, has been tapped to take over Jordan’s leading GOP spot on the House Oversight Committee — a move that will put some of the president’s fiercest attack dogs on the frontlines of combatting Democratic oversight efforts.

During a closed-door meeting on Thursday, the GOP Steering Committee overwhelmingly selected Jordan (R-Ohio) to be the ranking member on the panel, according to multiple people with knowledge of the internal vote. Jordan will replace Rep. Doug Collins, who recently announced a Georgia Senate bid and is required to step down from the top post under GOP conference rules.

The full Republican conference still needs to approve Jordan and Meadows for the posts, but usually backs the recommendations from the Steering Committee, which includes the top members of GOP leadership — including Jordan’s former rival House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), whose vote carries the most weight.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming(R-Wyo.), the No. 3 House Republican, said it was a “totally unified decision all around.”

Collins is not expected to step down immediately, and leadership has indicated that they would give him time to transition his staff. Jordan will officially start on March 12.

Before the Steering Committee voted on Thursday, Jordan and Meadows — who are fresh off assisting with Trump’s impeachment defense — made a pitch to their colleagues on the panel. No other candidates ran for the jobs, however, essentially ensuring they were locks for the positions.

Meadows is retiring, however, so the GOP will have to find a another leader for the panel later this year.

Jordan, who came to Congress in 2007, has been one of Trump’s fiercest defenders in the House and was even temporarily placed on the House Intelligence Committee for the public impeachment hearings. Trump and his allies wanted Jordan on the panel because they consider him to be one of their most effective at combatting Democrats. And Jordan has also become a fundraising power house, raking in $1.4 million in the last three months of 2019 — an new all-time high for him.

McCarthy giving his stamp of approval for Jordan to become ranking member of the Judiciary Committee is just the latest example of how far their relationship has come: Jordan challenged McCarthy for minority leader in 2018 and was long a thorn in the side of GOP leadership when Republicans were in the majority. McCarthy’s newfound alliance with Jordan is sure to earn him plaudits with conservatives down the road.

The House Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over a wide range of hot-button issues, including impeachment, guns and immigration.