Republicans Vote to Nominate Steve Scalise to Replace McCarthy as Speaker

Following last week’s shocking resignation of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Republicans narrowly picked Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise as their candidate to lead the House on Wednesday.

Scalise survived a challenge from Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a favorite of the far right, by a vote of 113 to 99 during a closed-door party meeting. His bid for speakership now moves to the House floor, where an already tense election could become even more so due to internal Republican splits.

With the help of legislators from districts won by President Biden and the support of members of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, Scalise was able to cobble together a slim majority in a volatile and rebellious conference.

However, with such a narrow margin, it was still unclear if his alliance would be enough to help him secure a majority in the House, which is required to become speaker. Even before Jordan’s confirmation hearing, several Republicans had vowed to do whatever it took to prevent the far-right co-founder of the Freedom Caucus from being installed.

Ohio Republican Representative Max Miller said, “I’m not switching my vote. I’m Jim Jordan all the way.”

The next speaker will have to deal with the same unruly party dynamics that plagued McCarthy’s tenure: a small majority that has emboldened a radical right wing that refuses to negotiate with the Democrats in the Senate and the White House.

The floor is now open for nominations. At 3 o’clock, the House as a whole will convene to propose representatives for the position of speaker. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York, has been declared the party’s nominee. The upcoming speaker must obtain support from a simple majority of the chamber’s legislators (217 if all members are present), in order to be elected.

Since McCarthy was removed from office by a radical right-wing group, the House has been ineffective. After the Palestinian group Hamas invaded Israel, killing over a thousand people and taking hundreds of hostages, lawmakers were growing increasingly concerned about the impact of continuing to operate without a duly elected speaker.

A public roll-call and a higher threshold would have made it more difficult for Scalise to triumph, but Republicans thwarted a move to amend their party rules for choosing a candidate for speaker, giving him a boost. The rule change was killed by a Republican vote of 135 to 88. It was supposed to be an effort to reduce disruptions on the House floor and prevent a repeat of January, when it took McCarthy 15 rounds of voting to become speaker.

A vote of confidence for a man who has overcome considerable personal suffering to climb in the ranks of Republican leadership, Scalise’s (58) promotion from his position as the No. 2 Republican in the chamber is a great honor.

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He has been a member of Congress since 2008, but he was just diagnosed with blood cancer and is undergoing aggressive treatment, so he must now wear a mask when he casts his vote or speaks to the press. Scalise was shot and critically injured by an anti-Trump radical in 2017 during a congressional baseball game practice. He can’t seem to get rid of his limp.

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By Melinda Davies
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John
John
6 months ago

Well steve
Are you FOR REAL ? or just another Zionist pig lacky comitting TREASON???
WE SHALL SEE IN VERY SHORT ORDER!

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