Politics

Steve Scalise is the GOP’s next pick for speaker

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise has won the GOP’s nod to become the next speaker, completing a decade-long climb up the ranks of Republican leadership.

The genial Louisianan defeated Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) in a secret-ballot vote on Wednesday, winning 113 to 99, according to multiple people briefed on the results.

The GOP’s half-day election, though, does little to answer the question on the mind of virtually every Republican in the room: how to unite a highly fractured party — and quickly.

He must now win near-unanimous support on the House floor to win the gavel. That means losing no more than four of his own Republican members — a difficult task when several ardent Jordan supporters, including Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Max Miller (R-Ohio), are already vowing to back the Ohioan on the floor and not Scalise.

Some Scalise allies are encouraging the Louisiana Republican to move to a floor vote quickly anyway, hoping to establish momentum after Wednesday’s internal vote. The rising national focus on national security matters such as the Israeli terrorist attack, these allies argue, will help convince GOP lawmakers to coalesce behind Scalise as the winner.

“I believe we’ll have a Speaker Scalise in office by dinnertime tonight,” said Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas), an early Scalise backer. “I’m confident we’ll all be on the same page when we get to the floor.”

Scalise himself appeared to agree, telling reporters that the fragile GOP majority needs to “resolve this and … get the house opened again. We have a lot of work to do,” though he did not offer a clear timeline for voting.

Yet other Republicans urged caution about a quick floor vote, pointing to warning signs that any first ballot would fail to result in a speaker. Several Republicans refused to say how they’d vote: Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) told reporters that he was “undecided” while Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) said “I cannot tell you what I’m going to do on the floor right now.”

And Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who leads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, spoke bluntly when asked what he’d need to vote for Scalise: “We need to quit having this place run the way it’s run.”

Such sentiment underscores the steep challenge Scalise will face as he works to corral a fractious GOP conference that saw its leader ousted on the floor in humiliating fashion just over a week ago.

Many are eager to avoid a repeat of January, when former Speaker Kevin McCarthy only won after 14 failed rounds on the floor — which many believe weakened his hand before even taking office. Some Jordan supporters, like Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), publicly argued against the idea of going directly to the floor for a vote. Nehls told reporters that “we need more deliberation.”

“That’s gonna have to be worked out in the next several hours, to get to unity,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), a senior Republican who called on his party to “unify” behind Scalise.

Scalise got some additional good news after the vote, as a few of McCarthy’s biggest antagonists lined up behind him.

“Long live Speaker Scalise,” declared Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), the hardliner who triggered McCarthy’s fall last week with the backing of seven of his GOP colleagues and all Democrats.

Another of those eight anti-McCarthy votes came from Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who told reporters: “I’m for Scalise.”

Katherine Tully-McManus, Nicholas Wu and Caitlin Emma contributed.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise has won the GOP’s nod to become the next speaker, completing a decade-long climb up the ranks of Republican leadership.
The genial Louisianan defeated Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) in a secret-ballot vote on Wednesday, winning 113 to 99, according to multiple people briefed on the results.
The GOP’s half-day election, though, does little to answer the question on the mind of virtually every Republican in the room: how to unite a highly fractured party — and quickly.
He must now win near-unanimous support on the House floor to win the gavel. That means losing no more than four of his own Republican members — a difficult task when several ardent Jordan supporters, including Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Max Miller (R-Ohio), are already vowing to back the Ohioan on the floor and not Scalise.
Some Scalise allies are encouraging the Louisiana Republican to move to a floor vote quickly anyway, hoping to establish momentum after Wednesday’s internal vote. The rising national focus on national security matters such as the Israeli terrorist attack, these allies argue, will help convince GOP lawmakers to coalesce behind Scalise as the winner.
“I believe we’ll have a Speaker Scalise in office by dinnertime tonight,” said Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas), an early Scalise backer. “I’m confident we’ll all be on the same page when we get to the floor.”
Scalise himself appeared to agree, telling reporters that the fragile GOP majority needs to “resolve this and … get the house opened again. We have a lot of work to do,” though he did not offer a clear timeline for voting.
Yet other Republicans urged caution about a quick floor vote, pointing to warning signs that any first ballot would fail to result in a speaker. Several Republicans refused to say how they’d vote: Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) told reporters that he was “undecided” while Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) said “I cannot tell you what I’m going to do on the floor right now.”
And Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who leads the conservative House Freedom Caucus, spoke bluntly when asked what he’d need to vote for Scalise: “We need to quit having this place run the way it’s run.”
Such sentiment underscores the steep challenge Scalise will face as he works to corral a fractious GOP conference that saw its leader ousted on the floor in humiliating fashion just over a week ago.
Many are eager to avoid a repeat of January, when former Speaker Kevin McCarthy only won after 14 failed rounds on the floor — which many believe weakened his hand before even taking office. Some Jordan supporters, like Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), publicly argued against the idea of going directly to the floor for a vote. Nehls told reporters that “we need more deliberation.”
“That’s gonna have to be worked out in the next several hours, to get to unity,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), a senior Republican who called on his party to “unify” behind Scalise.
Scalise got some additional good news after the vote, as a few of McCarthy’s biggest antagonists lined up behind him.
“Long live Speaker Scalise,” declared Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), the hardliner who triggered McCarthy’s fall last week with the backing of seven of his GOP colleagues and all Democrats.
Another of those eight anti-McCarthy votes came from Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who told reporters: “I’m for Scalise.”
Katherine Tully-McManus, Nicholas Wu and Caitlin Emma contributed.  

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