With Paul Ryan reportedly stepping down from his role as House Speaker, rumors have been circulating that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise might replace him after becoming a conservative household name last year when a Bernie Sanders-supporting socialist tried to assassinate him and several other GOP congressmen.
According to Politico, Rep. Scalise (R-LA) has fought a long-hard battle on the way to recovery, having been just "millimeters away from death in June after a gunman’s bullet ripped through his hip and pelvis, injuring internal organs during an early morning softball practice." The congressman most recently ditched his electric scooter and now walks with crutches. He also has no feeling in his left shin, and he can barely flex his left foot because of nerve damage caused by the bullet. His determination in the face of such adversity, including his refusal to back down from supporting the Second Amendment, has earned him the respect of several House Republicans who are now pushing him behind closed doors to campaign for the House Speaker's slot.
"One member recently introduced Scalise to donors as 'the next speaker of the House,'" reports Politico. "And the talk bubbled to the surface this week when two GOP lawmakers — Reps. Mark Amodei of Nevada and Mo Brooks of Alabama — vocalized what others have whispered privately for weeks."
“The rumor mill is that Paul Ryan is getting ready to resign in the next 30 to 60 days and that Steve Scalise will be the new speaker,” Amodei said.
Though Ryan's office has denied the resigning within 30 to 60 days narrative, people close to Scalise say he would be interested in running for the position if he did step down, but only on the condition that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) were to stay out of the race.
“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Scalise said in Louisianna. “Obviously, I’ve shown interest in the past at moving up. I’ve enjoyed being in leadership. I feel like I’ve had a strong influence on some of the things that we’ve done, and I’ve helped put together coalitions to pass a full repeal of Obamacare.”
Scalise also stressed that Paul Ryan stepping down is just a rumor and that he is primarily focused on implementing President Trump's agenda.
“It’s easy to get drawn into the palace intrigue and speculation," Scalise said. "But if you do that, you truly will lose focus on what your mission is, and that is working with President Trump to advance a conservative agenda. The stakes are way too high for us to lose sight of what we need to do right now."