The Rampant Misbehavior of Our Times

Here’s another story on the deep weirdness of Mike Johnson, although it’s about his wife. Kelly Johnson for years has run some kind of “Christian counseling service” that is partly based on the writings of Hippocrates.

Kelly Johnson’s website listed a specialty in Temperament counseling, a specialty that she received training for from an organization founded in the 1980s by a Christian couple. According to the materials the organization provides, the National Christian Counselor’s Association is adamant that its offerings take place outside of more traditional state-licensed settings so that counselors and clients can be fully engaged through their faith.

“The state licensed professional counselor in certain states is forbidden to pray, read or refer to the Holy Scriptures, counsel against things such as homosexuality, abortion, etc,” a catalog of the organization’s offerings states. “Initiating such counsel could be considered unethical by the state.”

The temperament-based approach breaks people down into five types: Melancholy, Choleric, Sanguine, Supine, and Phlegmatic. Richard and Phyllis Arno, who established a test to identify people’s temperament, founded the National Christian Counselors Association in the early 1980s. They and their advocates prefer the term temperament over personalities as the term personality is characterized as a “mask” while temperaments are “inborn” and thus inherent to each individual regardless of outside influences such as parenting. Their work is largely based on Hippocrates’ view that there were four temperaments.

Does she know that Hippocrates wasn’t a Christian? Anyway, the website was taken down shortly after MAGA Mike became speaker. For more about how the forced-birth movement seems to have adopted Hiipocrates as one of their own, see The Shadow Medical Community Behind the Attempt to Ban Medication Abortion at The Intercept.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan has reinstated Trump’s gag order.

Trump responded by attacking Attorney General Bill Barr, a potential witness in the case, while continuing his public assault on Chutkan. 

Chutkan, who is overseeing the federal election interference case, reinstated a partial gag order that had been approved then temporarily appealed in October as Justice Department prosecutors and Trump’s legal team debated the First Amendment grounds of the order. Trump took to Truth Social barely an hour later to attack the judge and former Attorney General Bill Barr, a potential witness in the case. 

“I called Bill Barr Dumb, Weak, Slow Moving, Lethargic, Gutless, and Lazy, a RINO WHO COULDN’T DO THE JOB. He just didn’t want to be Impeached, which the Radical Left Lunatics were preparing to do,” Trump wrote just 75 minutes after the gag order was reinstated. “Bill Barr is a LOSER!”

Your move, Judge Chutkan.

The most interesting thing I saw this morning is this item from the New York Times, How Trump’s Verbal Slips Could Weaken His Attacks on Biden’s Age. I apologize that I’m out of gift articles for the month. This article is arguing that Trump is making more verbal gaffes than usual, and that this may be a sign of deterioration of some sort. I don’t know that I’m taking this very seriously, as his head was never screwed on all the way as near as I can tell.

Mr. Trump has had a string of unforced gaffes, garble and general disjointedness that go beyond his usual discursive nature, and that his Republican rivals are pointing to as signs of his declining performance.

On Sunday in Sioux City, Iowa, Mr. Trump wrongly thanked supporters of Sioux Falls, a South Dakota town about 75 miles away, correcting himself only after being pulled aside onstage and informed of the error.

It was strikingly similar to a fictional scene that Mr. Trump acted out earlier this month, pretending to be Mr. Biden mistaking Iowa for Idaho and needing an aide to straighten him out.

In recent weeks, Mr. Trump has also told supporters not to vote, and claimed to have defeated President Barack Obama in an election. He has praised the collective intellect of an Iranian-backed militant group that has long been an enemy of both Israel and the United States, and repeatedly mispronounced the name of the armed group that rules Gaza.

He was saying “hummus” instead of “Hamas.” And last week he said Viktor Orban was President of Turkey. Now, again, I don’t know that this is as big a change as the article is letting on, as his spoken diatribes were never exactly what you’d call coherent. And I doubt that his groupies care.

The GOP Is Off the Charts

Mike Spence is suspending his presidential campaign. Yeah, I know, we weep and we mourn. “Suspending” means it is not officially ended, and he could crank it up again should the political landscape shift. Maybe Trump will be abducted by aliens. You never know.

Another of the specimens running for the Republican nomination, Ron DeSantis, said  “liberal, soft on crime” policies were to blame for the mass shooting in Maine that left 18 people dead earlier this week. According to the CDC, in 2021 the homicide mortality rate in Maine was 1.7 per 100,000 population. The homicide mortality rate in Florida was 7.4. The winner, though, was liberal, soft-on-crime Mississippi, at a whopping 23.7. And number two is Mike Johnson’s Louisiana, at 21.3. Indeed, with a couple of exceptions, the states with the most homicide deaths make up a roll call of the old Confederacy. See America’s Highest Gun Death Rates Are in the South at Axios. Somehow I don’t think liberalism is the problem.

Speaking of aliens, the new Speaker seems more alien by the minute. To plumb the depths of his weirdness, do read What’s Up With Mike Johnson’s Black Son at TPM by Josh Marshall.

Video surfaced of an interview Johnson did with Walter Isaacson just after the death of George Floyd in June 2020 in which he revealed that he had an adopted black son, Michael. … 

…I had only heard this story in passing until this evening when TPM Reader RS flagged something odd about the story. No African-American son shows up in any of the family photographs on Johnson’s House website or on his personal Facebook page. Nor does Michael figure anywhere in any of Johnson’s campaign biographies.

As I went further down this rabbit hole tonight I was a bit dumbfounded. Is Michael made up? Is he excluded from family pictures? I was so baffled that I went pretty far down that rabbit hole trying to figure out what was going on.

It gets weirder.

I was able to piece the story together from the introduction to the full video of the 2020 interview and a write up in The Advocate centered on the 2019 reparations hearing. In Johnson’s interview with Walter Isaacson it sounds like he’s talking about two 14 year olds, boys of the same age. But if you listen closely he refers to Michael at that age in the past tense. Michael was 36 in June 2019 and presumably 40 today. Johnson is 51.

Josh Marshall speculates that maybe this was some kind of fostering situation, and that the Johnsons never formally adopted Michael and consider him a “son” in an informal sense. But who the bleep knows?

I’m all out of gift articles for the month, but everybody should read Paul Krugman’s column from a couple of days ago. Johnson wants to raise the Social Security retirement age to 69 or 70. He wants to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 70 and keep raising it. He wants to destroy employment based health insurance by limiting the tax deductions for employers. He wants to cut  $3 trillion over a decade from Medicaid, children’s health coverage, and subsidies that help lower-income Americans afford insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Tens of millions of Americans would lose health care.

And I have to ask, why? What does he think he’s saving money for?

And then there’s his extremist culture war positions. See Mike Johnson Hates America, But He Believes He Can Save It by David Corn at Mother Jones.

Please, Democrats, don’t hold back. Hang this guy around the neck of every House Republican who voted for him, which is pretty close all of them, I believe. There may have been a couple of absences.

In other news. It appears Israel has begun its ground invasion of Gaza. I think someday they’ll regret this.

Thoughts on the New Speaker

The mass shooting in Maine may be one of the rare examples of a shooter who really is mentally ill. All information about him seems thin at this point, so we may yet learn otherwise. I am gratified, at least, that so far not even Gateway Pundit is claiming the alleged shooter, Robert Card, is part of Antifa or in the employ of George Soros. But it’s early yet.

We’ve had a few hours to study up on the new Speaker, Mike Johnson of Louisiana. And he’s a hard-right Christian nationalist. On any issue you can think of, especially culture war stuff, Johnson sits at the farthest right of anyone in Congress. But by all accounts he has a low-key and sociable demeanor and hasn’t pissed anyone off, yet.

The larger issue with Johnson is that he hasn’t been in Congress all that long — he was first elected in 2016 — and he hasn’t had anywhere close to the kind of experience needed to do the speaker’s job. A whole lot of people think he will soon find himself in way over his head.

He also is a leading election denier. This is from the New York Times, October 2022

While most House Republicans had amplified Mr. Trump’s claims about the election in the aftermath of his loss, only the right flank of the caucus continued to loudly echo Mr. Trump’s fraud allegations in the days before Jan. 6, The Times found. More Republican lawmakers appeared to seek a way to placate Mr. Trump and his supporters without formally endorsing his extraordinary allegations. In formal statements justifying their votes, about three-quarters relied on the arguments of a low-profile Louisiana congressman, Representative Mike Johnson, the most important architect of the Electoral College objections.

On the eve of the Jan. 6 votes, he presented colleagues with what he called a “third option.” He faulted the way some states had changed voting procedures during the pandemic, saying it was unconstitutional, without supporting the outlandish claims of Mr. Trump’s most vocal supporters. His Republican critics called it a Trojan horse that allowed lawmakers to vote with the president while hiding behind a more defensible case.

In a quick google I couldn’t find a clear rebuttal to the charge that changing voting procedures because of the pandemic was unconstitutional. Apparently there is old case law that discourages changing voting procedures within a certain amount of time near an election. This was part of the basis for Texas AG Ken Paxton’s infamous December 2020 lawsuit against battleground states, which SCOTUS tossed because Paxton didn’t have standing. I personally think it’s a bogus argument regarding 2020, but as you know I’m not a lawyer.

Anyway, the real challenge is going to be when Johnson has to choose between absolute obstructionism and passing nothing or compromising to pass something and thereby pissing off the MAGAts in the House. And I believe the one-person-challenge rule is still in effect. However, it appears that the demands for a CR in November to keep the government funded won’t be too extreme, since Johnson is new at the job. We’ll see.


Today in Not-Speaker News

With all the hoopla over the new Speaker of the House, who is a hard-right MAGA zealot I’m sure we will all come to despise in no time, you may have missed a Trump event today.  In his New York civil fraud trial Trump was called to the witness stand and put under oath. And then he was fined for violating his gag order again. Here are the details:

During a break in the trial this afternoon, Trump told reporters, “This judge is a very partisan judge, with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside of him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is.” The person who is usually sitting next to Judge Arthur Engoron is his law clerk, Allison Greenfield. The original gag order happened when Trump posted that Greenfield was Chuck Schumer‘s “girlfriend.”

Upon hearing about the new remarks, Judge Engoron called Trump to the witness stand and put him under oath. This happened:

Trump said he was referring to Cohen, who he’s previously called a rat, a liar and a felon.

The judge asked Trump if he’d previously referred to his law clerk as “partisan” and Trump said, “maybe” he had referred to her as not fair because she’s “very biased.”

But, Trump insisted, he was referring to Cohen when he told reporters earlier that Engoron is “a very partisan judge with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is.” 

Engoron said he found Trump’s testimony “not credible.” Then he fined Trump $10,000.

And then this happened:

Trump stormed out of the courtroom about 45 minutes later, after the judge denied a motion from his lawyers on a separate legal issue. Trump lawyer Cliff Robert had seized on Cohen’s testimony that Trump never explicitly instructed him to inflate his financial statements to ask the judge for a directed verdict dismissing the AG’s claims about the statements, which Engoron refused.

The abrupt departure appeared to catch even his attorneys by surprise and caused gasps throughout the courtroom.

“The witness just admitted that we won the trial and the judge should end this trial immediately. Thank you,” Trump told reporters after he left.

Under questioning from AG’s office, Cohen testified later Trump didn’t specifically tell him to inflate the numbers and said he was like a “mob boss” who tells you what he wants without directly telling you.

When Cohen wrapped up his fiery two days on the witness stand, Robert again asked the judge for a directed verdict, a request he said was “absolutely denied.”

“This case has credible evidence all over the place,” the judge said. “There is enough evidence in this case to fill this courtroom.” 

In other news: Sidney Powell is still pushing the Big Lie in her social media accounts.

On her social-media accounts, Powell has continued to push claims that the 2020 election was rigged and that prosecutors in Georgia who brought the criminal case against her were politically motivated. The newsletter published by her dark-money group has shared articles arguing the Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis, “extorted” her guilty plea.

Plea deals can be canceled, can they not?


We Have a Speaker

It looks like there’s about to be a Speaker. The Republicans are hanging together and voting for Mike Johnson of Louisiana. I believe he has the votes.

Josh Marshall:

Moments from now Mike Johnson of Louisiana will become Speaker of the House and I just found out that Johnson and his wife have a podcast about ‘religious conservatism’, basically a heavy focus on abortion bans, opposing gay marriage and the like. Before entering Congress Johnson was a ‘religious liberty’ activist. It’s on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and the rest. You have to figure that opposition researchers are going to be listening to it pretty closely. The first episode I’m listening to is Episode 12 “The Truth about January 6th that You’ve Never Been Told”. After that there’s Episode 14 “Post-Roe America: What Happens Now?” Johnson supports an absolute national ban on abortions.

I understand that Johnson also is opposed to sending aid to Ukraine. So this ain’t good.

Another Georgia Plea Deal

This time it’s Jenna Ellis, who had been complaining last spring that Trump wasn’t helping pay for her legal bills. This is the New York Times on the plea (no paywall):

Ms. Ellis, 38, pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting false statements and writings, a felony. She is the fourth defendant to plead guilty in the Georgia case, which charged Mr. Trump and 18 others with conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Mr. Trump’s favor.

Ms. Ellis agreed to be sentenced to five years of probation, pay $5,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service. She has already written an apology letter to the citizens of Georgia, and she agreed to cooperate fully with prosecutors as the case progresses.

Interesting bit:

Ms. Ellis, unlike the other defendants who have pleaded guilty, asked the court to let her give a statement. She cried as she rose from the defense table and said, “As an attorney who is also a Christian, I take my responsibilities as a lawyer very seriously.”

She said that after Mr. Trump’s defeat in 2020, she believed that challenging the election results on his behalf should have been pursued in a “just and legal way.” But she said that she had relied on information provided by other lawyers, including some “with many more years of experience than I,” and failed to do her “due diligence” in checking the veracity of their claims.

“If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these postelection challenges,” Ms. Ellis told Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton County Superior Court. “I look back on this experience with deep remorse. For those failures of mine, your honor, I’ve taken responsibility already before the Colorado bar, who censured me, and I now take responsibility before this court and apologize to the people of Georgia.”


In March, Ms. Ellis admitted in a sworn statement in Colorado, her home state, that she had knowingly misrepresented the facts in several public claims that widespread voting fraud had occurred and had led to Mr. Trump’s defeat. Those admissions were part of an agreement Ms. Ellis made to accept public censure and settle disciplinary measures brought against her by state bar officials in Colorado.

Though she is still able to practice law in Colorado, the group that brought the original complaint against her, leading to the censure, said on Tuesday that new action would be coming.

“We do plan to file a new complaint in Colorado based on the guilty plea, so that the bar can assess the matter in light of her criminal conduct,” said Michael Teter, managing director of the 65 Project, a bipartisan legal watchdog group.

So she’s not quite getting her stories straight.

In other news that is a surprise to me, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) won the nomination for speaker today. Emmer is one of the small minority of candidates who voted to certify the 2020 election, which probably means the Freedom Caucus crew won’t vote for him. Emmer got 117 votes in the Republican caucus. Coming in second with 95 votes was Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, who did not vote to certify the 2020 election. Then the House Republicans had an internal roll call to see if Emmer could get to 217. But he fell more than 20 votes short. It’s not clear to me what’s going to happen next.

Michael Cohen testified today in Trump’s New York civil fraud trial. Trump was in the courtroom, I believe. I’m sure there will be more commentary on this soon.

Update: Trump is trying desperately to get the J6 charges dismissed.

Former president Donald Trump launched a multipronged legal attack late Monday on his federal prosecution for allegedly subverting the results of the 2020 election, saying his actions were protected by the First Amendment as political speech and arguing that he cannot be tried in criminal court for attempting to block Joe Biden’s victory, because he was already impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate.

I’m not sure the fake electors scheme, among other things, qualifies as “political speech.” And I’ve heard all over the place that an impeachment trial in the Senate can’t count as “double jeopardy” because it is outside the judicial system, and a conviction would not have resulted in any sort of criminal or civil charges, just removal from office. What this tells me is that Trump’s lawyers just file whatever he tells them to file and do their best to make it look less ridiculous than it is.

Another flip? Mark Meadows has been granted immunity by Jack Smith’s team, I believe in the J6 case.

Meadows informed Smith’s team that he repeatedly told Trump in the weeks after the 2020 presidential election that the allegations of significant voting fraud coming to them were baseless, a striking break from Trump’s prolific rhetoric regarding the election.

According to the sources, Meadows also told the federal investigators Trump was being “dishonest” with the public when he first claimed to have won the election only hours after polls closed on Nov. 3, 2020, before final results were in.

Update: Meadows is throwing cold water on this story, which was reported by ABC News. See Emptywheel for details.

Emmer Dropped OutSo what if the House Dems recruited Liz Cheney and got some Republican to nominate her? She’d need, what, five or six Republican votes? At least she’d not work with Trump and would bring aid to Israel and Ukraine to a vote.

The Week Ahead

Preview of the week ahead: I understand there are nine candidates for House Speaker. The GOP plans to choose a nominee tomorrow. I can’t see how this group of House Republicans will ever give any one candidate the votes to win the speakership.

I don’t know that anything new is expected in the various Trump civil and criminal cases. But we can always be surprised. We may hear something about scheduling the remainder of the Fulton County defendants, since the trial that was supposed to start by is no longer needed. Joyce Vance says that if Judge McAfee doesn’t try to squeeze it in before the J6 trial starts in March, then it probably won’t happen until summer 2024, if then.

For your reading enjoyment … see A President, a Billionaire and Questions About Access and National Security in the New York Times. No paywall. The billionaire is Australian and spent tons of money at Mar-a-Lago to get acccess to Trump. And now he says Trump shared foreign policy and nuclear secrets with him. Which Trump denies, of course.

SCOTUS Does Not Reinstate Missouri’s Nutjob Gun Law

Here’s an update on Missouri’s infamous Second Amendment Preservation Act, which went into effect in June 2021. The Act is a not-well-veiled attempt at nullifying federal guns laws. This NPR article explains it pretty well:

In 2021, Missouri passed the “Second Amendment Preservation Act” to make federal gun restrictions illegal in the state and bar officials from enforcing any law that would “infringe” upon the right to “bear arms.” It also allows “any person” to sue state law-enforcement agencies who don’t comply with state law.

The federal government sued, contending that the state law unconstitutionally usurped federal law and made it impossible for federal authorities in the state to carry out their enforcement duties. A federal district court agreed and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling.

In effect, the law seriously interfered with cooperation between state and federal law enforcement where guns are involved. For example, after a police officer was killed in a shootout, state law enforcement at first refused to work with federal agencies to trace the murder weapon.

Among other things, the law attempts to nullify federal statutes that, for example, require gun dealers to keep records. It prohibits the state from hiring former federal employees who had ever been involved in enforcing federal gun laws. And it allows any citizen of the state to sue any state law enforcement employee or agency caught cooperating with the feds, for $50,000. Ian Millhiser at Vox said the law “reads like it was drafted by a member of the John Birch Society after a night of heavy drinking.”

In 2022 the U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief in a federal court against the law. The brief says the law “poses a clear and substantial threat to public safety” and has “seriously impaired the federal government’s ability to combat violent crime in Missouri.”

The state is still appealing to have the law reinstated in lower courts. But then the Missouri AG asked the Supreme Court to reinstate the law while the challenges were working their way through lower courts. And yesterday the Court refused to do that. Justice Thomas dissented.

Adam Liptak writes for the New York Times (no paywall):

In a brief statement on Friday, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, joined by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., wrote that he agreed with the court’s ruling “under the present circumstances.” But he added that the court was powerless to block aspects of the Missouri law that resembled the one from Texas.

Judge Brian C. Wimes of the Federal District Court in Kansas City ruled in March that the Missouri law was “an impermissible nullification attempt” at odds with the Constitution’s supremacy clause, which generally prohibits states from enacting measures at odds with federal law.

I wonder if the “under the present circumstances” is leaving a door open for the court to rule differently at some future time.

In other news: James Comer’s investigations into Joe Biden’s allegedly shady financial dealings are still striking out. Biden’s brother James wrote him a check for $200,000 in 2018, which was designated a “loan replayment.” This is Comer’s new evidence of Biden’s doing something bad somehow that is all over right-wing media, sometimes under headlines screaming QUID PRO QUO. None appear to remember that Biden was a private citizen in 2018, and why wouldn’t it have been a loan replayment?

Also, too: House Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota is being considered for the speaker position. But back in January 2021 Emmer voted to certify the 2020 election results. So “conservatives aligned with Trump, including their media darling Tucker Carlson, are lining up to crush Emmer’s bid for speaker if he decides to run,” it says here. I can’t imagine how the House is ever going to elect a speaker unless some Dems cross over and vote for a not-MAGA Republican.

Gym Gets Another Vote

Word is that Gym will get another roll call vote this morning. Also, Patrick McHenry is threatening to quit as temp speaker. I’ll be back later to comment.

Update: Jordan is striking out already.

Update: Chesebro got a plea deal, or a partial plea deal. I’ll post details when I know them.

Update: Sorry I haven’t been keeping up. I had some messy personal business to take care of. Now I’m trying to figure out what’s been going on.

Now the Republicans have voted, 112 to 86, to remove Gym Jordan as the nomnee for speaker. Other would-be speakers have until Sunday to step forward. Several possibilies are being named. Gym would have been better off if he’d stopped after two votes and got the caucus behind the plan to give Patrick McHenry enhanced temporary powers. He could at least have kept the status of speaker nominee for a while.

Judge Arthur Engoron has threatened Trump with incarceration if he continues to post smack about court employees and witnesses on socical media.

Kenneth Chesebro pleads:

Chesebro pleaded guilty to a single felony count of conspiracy to file false documents and accepted a sentence of three to five years of probation, a $1,000 fine, $5,000 in restitution to the state of Georgia, an apology letter, 100 hours of community service and a promise to testify truthfully against any other co-defendants in the case, should they go to trial.

I understand Chesebro played a major role in the fake elector scam.

Israel has not yet begun sending troops into Gaza. I understand the U.S. and several other nations are urging Israel to hold off and try to get hostages out. Israel continues to bomb Gaza, I understand.

I think that’s the highlights. Thank you to everyone for all your comments during the day.

Update: One more — Judge Chutkan temporarily froze the gag order she’d placed on Trump.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday temporarily froze the gag order she issued on Donald Trump in the former president’s federal 2020 election subversion criminal case.

In a brief order, Chutkan, who is overseeing the case against Trump in Washington, DC, said she was issuing the administrative stay of the gag order entered earlier this week to give the parties more time to brief her on the former president’s request to pause the order while his appeal of it plays out.

Chutkan also said that the Justice Department has until Wednesday to respond to Trump’s request for a longer pause on the gag order and that Trump would have until the following Saturday to reply to the government’s filing.

Sidney Powell Takes a Plea Deal

So this just happened — Sidney Powell has taken a plea deal in the Georgia election interference case.

Powell agreed to plead out one day before her trial, alongside Ken Chesebro, was set to begin in Fulton County Superior Court.

Powell agreed at the hearing to plead guilty to six counts of conspiracy to commit interference with the performance of election duties. The penalty includes six years probation, a recorded proffer interview with prosecutors, a commitment to testify about her actions in future trials, and a $6,000 fine.

This suggests Powell is not utterly demented. And I bet she knows a lot of stuff. So who’s next?

In other news: The House is supposed to convene at noon today, and Gym wants a third vote. We’ll see if he gets it. I’ve read in several sources that there are some Republicans and Democrats warming up to the idea of giving temp speaker McHenry enough authority to let the House do its basic functions as a legislative body until the GOP can settle on a speaker. But it’s far from a done deal. If that doesn’t happen, and if Gym keeps losing, I don’t see that there are any other plans.

See also Multiple members are detailing death threats and other intimidation they’ve faced for opposing Jim Jordan’s speakership bid at Politico. I bet a lot of these people never imagined the MAGA goons would be coming after them.

I’ll update this post as stuff happens today.

Update: Gym surrenders. There won’t be another vote. He’s endorsing the plan to empower the temp speaker to temporarily run the House.

Update: Whoops, scratch the last update. The New York Times just reported that Gym wants another vote after all.

Just hours after the hard-right Republican said he would hit pause on his candidacy and support elevating the interim speaker, Representative Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina, to temporarily lead the House, Mr. Jordan reversed course yet again and said he would move forward with his bid to win the post. It was not immediately clear when another vote could be scheduled.

His decision came after a furious backlash from rank-and-file Republicans including many of his far-right supporters, who said empowering Mr. McHenry — a stand-in appointed to his post after the ouster of then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy — would effectively cede control of the House floor to Democrats and set a bad precedent.