According to Mediaite, in a significant development, the House Republican Conference conducted a vote on Wednesday to nominate Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the current House Majority Leader, as their candidate for House Speaker. This move followed the recent ousting of Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) by hardline GOP members. Two prominent candidates emerged as potential replacements for McCarthy: Steve Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). Scalise won the nomination by a slim margin of just 14 votes, underscoring the deep divisions within the House GOP. It is also to be noted that Donald Trump has endorsed Jim Jordan.
For Scalise to become the Speaker of the House, he will need to secure a majority in the full House, which requires 217 votes. Notably, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who played a leading role in the push to remove McCarthy, has endorsed Scalise, praising him as an improvement in multiple aspects. Gaetz expressed optimism about Scalise’s ability to energize party activists, effectively communicate with the nation, and unite the Republican conference.
However, it’s important to recognize that Scalise’s path to becoming the Speaker of the House is far from assured. The Republican party remains divided on the approach to take in the floor vote. Given the current composition of Congress, a Speaker must secure at least 217 votes for election. The tight nature of the internal vote within House Republicans sets the stage for another showdown on the House floor. Scalise will need to persuade the 99 members who did not vote for him during the internal nomination to support him during the final House floor vote. This ongoing speaker drama represents an extraordinary and rare development in Congress, emphasizing the challenges facing the GOP in their pursuit of leadership within the House of Representatives.
We have to be very clear under these circumstances that this is no guarantee that Steve Scalise will be the next speaker of the House. Republicans are still divided as to how to take this process to the floor of the House of Representatives, because, as you know, it requires at least 217 votes given the current makeup of Congress in order for someone to be elected speaker. And so far, the vote that we saw come out of this internal meeting of House Republicans, which we should point out was a private ballot, was extraordinarily tight,” he reported.
“This this now sets up another confrontation on the House floor, where Scalise is going to have to convince these 99 members that didn’t vote for him today to cast a ballot for him on the House floor. Just another extraordinary development here in this speaker drama and something that we need to emphasize is not something that usually happens here in Congress