Republicans Consider Next Steps for Scalise’s House Speaker Nomination



Republican House Majority Leader Steve Scalise is facing a test of gaining enough support from his divided party to be elected Speaker of the House. Despite having beaten House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan in a secret ballot for the nomination, Scalise has yet to secure the necessary 217 Republican votes to overcome Democratic opposition and secure the position. The election is crucial as the House cannot act on legislation without a speaker, adding pressure to resolve matters such as Israel’s war against Palestinian militants and restarting government funding legislation before a potential shutdown in November.

U.S. House Republicans Gather to Elect New Speaker

House Republicans convene to select new Speaker on Capitol Hill in Washington

Steve Scalise, House Majority Leader, addresses reporters after receiving a majority of votes in the House Republican caucus, making him their nominee for next Speaker of the House during a private Republican meeting in the Longworth House office building on Capitol Hill, U.S., October 11, 2023.

On October 12, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives convened privately to decide if Steve Scalise could secure sufficient backing from his fragmented party to be elected speaker on the chamber floor.

After winning the nomination in a secret party ballot against House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, the Louisiana Republican’s ability to garner the 217 Republican votes needed to offset Democratic opposition and rise to the second-in-line role to the presidency remains unproven.

Steve Scalise and his team expect to have the votes when they go to the floor, according to Representative John Duarte, a Scalise supporter.

As the House struggles to pass legislation without a speaker and with the upcoming shutdown deadline on Nov. 17, Republicans are under pressure to support Israel’s war against Palestinian militants and restart government funding-

Jordan plans to vote for Scalise, and has urged his fellow Republicans to do the same.

However, uncertainty looms over the House. Some lawmakers still publicly back Jordan, while others pledge their vote for McCarthy, despite the latter’s ouster from the role by eight Republicans with the help of Democrats.

Recollections of Previous Disruptions

Republicans aim to prevent the public debacle that took place in January, when hard-line conservatives forced McCarthy to undergo 15 floor votes in four days before securing the gavel.

Scalise, 58, gained respect within Republican circles by surviving a severe gunshot wound from a 2017 charity baseball game shooting. However, Scalise also faces health challenges as he battles multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. This has led some Jordan supporters to refrain from voting for him.

Jordan has the backing of former President Donald Trump and appeals to hardline populists. Prior to his nomination, Scalise successfully defeated an effort to require a nominee to secure 217 Republican votes, drawing the ire of some Jordan supporters.

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