Scalise Drops From Speaker Race After Appearing to Secure Nomination

( – Political watchers predicted that Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) January compromise with GOP hardliners would doom his tenure as speaker of the House. On October 3, that day finally arrived when Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) entered a motion to vacate the speakership, and eight GOP representatives joined all 208 Democrats in attendance and ousted McCarthy — a historic first. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) eventually secured the Republicans’ nomination as speaker, but he quickly withdrew his name before the full House vote took place.

On Wednesday, October 11, the House GOP conference voted to nominate Scalise for the speakership over Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) by a slim margin of 113 to 99. Securing the position in a floor vote requires 217 votes if all members are in attendance and no one votes present.

After less than 24 hours, Scalise withdrew his name amid heated controversy over his nomination, and with the clarity he couldn’t secure the necessary votes without turning to Democrats for help. That option didn’t work for McCarthy’s January election and likely wouldn’t this time around either. The Liberals seem more interested in pushing their own agenda than doing what’s right for the House and, by extension — the country.

Former President Donald Trump spoke out against Scalise’s nomination during an appearance on a radio program, arguing that the congressman’s recent blood cancer diagnosis meant he was facing “serious trouble” and should focus his attention on his health.

Within hours of securing the GOP’s nomination, more than a dozen Republican lawmakers confirmed they wouldn’t vote for Scalise in the floor vote. Some of them supported Jordan as Speaker and were holding out for that possibility. Others had issues with Scalise’s moderate position on several issues and controversy surrounding comments he reportedly made about being David Duke without all the baggage.

On Friday, Republican lawmakers voted to nominate Jordan over Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) by a vote of 124 to 81. Although he fared better than Scalise had, he still faces an uphill battle to secure the required 217 votes. Several moderate Republicans have said they wouldn’t vote for him, and it remains unclear if Jordan would try to strike a deal with Democrats.

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