Image courtesy of Britannica
By Madeline Bartol
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA 01), who was nominated in a close-door meeting of Republicans, dropped out of the Speaker race, causing another hurdle for the Republican senators.
The House has stood at a standstill ever since Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy was voted out after a motion to vacate by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL 01). Republicans now have the important task of replacing McCarthy, but this has not been an easy one.
The speakership race has been a difficult road for Republicans to navigate. The Republican members have been infighting against themselves on who should be the Speaker. Two major front runners for this coveted position were Rep. Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH 04). This race has caused a division within the party, some backing Scalise, some backing Jordan, with others supporting members who are not in the race, such as McCarthy, who declined to run again.
The Louisiana representative was House Majority Leader during McCarthy’s speakership and seemed to many as a big contender in this race. However, as fast as he was nominated, he pulled out of the race.
“If you look at where our conference is, there’s still work to be done. Our conference still has to come together, and it’s not there,” Scalise said. “There are still some people that have their own agendas.”
This decision comes after much doubt on whether he would be able to get enough votes. Many people have also questioned whether Scalise was a fit choice due to a medical diagnosis that many argued made him an invalid choice for the speakership.
The Speaker race continues to show the cracks with the Republican party within the House. Republicans are not voting together to approve the Speaker, but rather dividing into fractions. McCarthy backed Scalise, but his support was not able to secure him the coveted votes he needed.
Other members supported Rep. Jim Jordan, former President Trump’s pick for the Speakership. Jordan became Scalise’s biggest opponent in the Republican speakership race, coming just short of Scalise among the vote of House Republicans. Jordan is currently the main candidate within the Republican Party in the speaker’s race.
Not all members are convinced of Jordan’s likelihood of becoming Speaker.e does not currently have the Republican support he needs to get to the 217 votes that will make him Speaker. With the first round of Congressional speakership elections completed, Jordan failed to receive the majority, with twenty Republicans not voting for him.
Until the House of Representatives has a speaker, issues plaguing Congress have been put on the back burner. A new speaker must be selected to make policy about certain issues, such as the looming government shutdown set to take place on Nov. 17 and the halt in aid for Ukraine and Israel.