Scalise Beats Jordan In Republican Nom For House Speaker. But A Final Floor Vote Remains
By a vote of 113 to 99 on Wednesday, House Republicans nominated Steve Scalise of Louisiana, currently the second-ranking House Republican, to be the next speaker.
Scalise defeated a challenge from Donald Trump-backed Jim Jordan of Ohio, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a week after the abrupt ouster of Kevin McCarthy.
However, a few objections to Scalise’s nomination left House Republicans unable to proceed with a final floor vote, making it unclear when a new speaker might be elected.
Ascending To One Of The Most Powerful Positions In Government
Wednesday’s result fell well below the 217-vote threshold needed to be elected speaker, one of the most powerful positions in government, on the House floor.
If all 433 current House members participate, Scalise can only afford 4 defections within the Republican conference and still win the speakership.
As of Wednesday, at least 10 House Republicans said they were not prepared to nominate Scalise for the top role, with several more still undecided.
Jordan Ready To Back Scalise On The House Floor
Even as his supporters rallied around him, Jordan appeared ready to back Scalise on the House floor. He even has encouraged his colleagues to do the same, according to a source.
Nonetheless, that encouragement has not swayed some of Scalise’s detractors. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia raised concerns over Scalise undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
“I like Steve Scalise, and I like him so much that I want to see him defeat cancer more than sacrifice his health,” Greene said on X, noting she “will be voting for Jim Jordan.”
Turning Full Attention To Israel-Hamas War
On Tuesday, some members had suggested they would prefer an alternative – or Kevin McCarthy, who, however, has asked his caucus not to re-nominate him for the job.
Until a new leader is chosen, North Carolina GOP Rep Patrick McHenry will continue serving as the acting speaker while the House remains unable to conduct other business.
A quick election would allow the House to turn its full attention to the situation in Israel, following this weekend’s violent attacks staged by a Palestinian Islamist militant group, Hamas.