Scalise Drops Out Of Speaker Race
House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) listens during a press conference following a House Republican Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol Building on July 18, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) announced on Thursday evening that he is ending his bid for speaker after failing to muster enough support to win the gavel.

In confirming the decision to reporters, after making his intentions known to fellow Republicans in a members-only discussion, Scalise said, “There are still schisms that have to be resolved.”

Scalise edged out Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) 113-99 in a secret ballot vote for the GOP nomination on Wednesday, but more than 24 hours later a couple dozen GOP members either opposed him or were undecided.

Once he withdrew from the contest for speaker, Scalise said he intends to remain as majority leader and indicated that he would push for the speaker vacuum to be filled “as quickly as it has to happen.”

With Democrats united in nominating Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for speaker, Republicans can only afford to lose a handful of votes to secure the simple majority needed to secure the speaker’s gavel unless there is a bipartisan compromise.

The House has been without a speaker for more than a week after Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was voted out of the role on Tuesday. Eight Republicans joined with Democrats, citing objections to McCarthy’s leadership, in securing McCarthy’s ouster after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) got the process underway with a “motion to vacate.”

Leading up to and after Scalise’s exit from the race, some members suggested Jordan would ultimately be a more viable candidate. Jordan had the backing of former President Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner in the 2024 presidential race, during the nomination contest.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) listed Jordan along with some other names as possibilities in a post to X on Thursday evening. Among the additional recommendations were Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK), who had previously bowed out of the race for speaker; Rep. Mark Green (R-TN); and former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). Luna later added Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) as “another good option.”

There is a sense of urgency as Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who is serving as speaker pro tempore, is limited in what he can do in the temporary role at a time when Israel goes to war with Hamas after a terrorist attack over the weekend and a government shutdown possible by mid-November.

Some have proposed empowering McHenry in the short term to get legislative business in motion. Others are pulling for a McCarthy comeback. Democrats have floated the idea of entering talks to find a “bipartisan path forward,” which Jeffries reportedly suggested would include tweaks to the rules “enacted in January that empower their most extreme members.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Scalise Drops Out Of Speaker Race