Steve Scalise drops out of house speaker race: Live updates

Steve Scalise thanks House Republican for nominating him for Speaker

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced Thursday he’s withdrawing his candidacy to become the next Speaker of the House, only a day after his Republican colleagues decided to nominate him for the position.

“If you look over the last few weeks, if you look at where our conference is, there’s still work to be done,” he told reporters. “Our conference has to come together and is not there. There are still some people that have their own agenda.”

The Majority Leader and Louisiana congressman defeated Donald Trump-endorsed Rep Jim Jordan of Ohio on Wednesday to narrowly win the Republican Party’s nomination in a 113-99 vote to replace Kevin McCarthy.

Before backing out, Mr Scalise could only afford to lose four Republican votes as he sought the backing of 217 members of the full chamber to become speaker in the face of a Democratic Party steadfastly unified behind Rep Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Several Republicans including far-right MAGA lawmakers Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene had said that they would not back Mr Scalise, despite his party nomination.


Rep Anna Paulina Luna backtracks on support for Scalise

After changing her mind to support Steve Scalise on Wednesday, Rep Anna Paulina Luna turned around on Thursday and backtracked, saying that she wouldn’t back the current majority leader for the speakership.

Such shaky support for Mr Scalise may be why he decided on Thursday to drop his candidacy for the position.

Josh Marcus13 October 2023 07:00


‘People refused to vote for him’

After Steve Scalise withdrew his nomination, Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska said that “Steve won fair and square, and yet we had people who refused to vote for him”.

He added: “If you reward bad behaviour, you’re going to get more of it.”

Maroosha Muzaffar13 October 2023 06:30


Emmer working on possibly running for speaker

A member of the House Republicans told The Messenger that Majority Whip Tom Emmer is working to possibly become speaker.

“If Tom Emmer running for Majority Leader, he would be doing his job and WHIPing votes for our Speaker candidate. It’s obvious to everyone that Tom Emmer is positioning himself to run for Speaker,” the member told the outlet.

Cami Mondeaux of the Washington Examiner wrote: “Multiple sources told me last week that while Emmer was making calls to position himself for majority leader if Scalise became speaker, he left the door open for a possible jump to speaker himself someday”.

Gustaf Kilander13 October 2023 06:00


Trump rallies against Scalise: ‘Steve is a man that is in serious trouble, from the standpoint of his cancer’

Former president Donald Trump weighed in yesterday against Steve Scalise before the Republican withdrew his candidacy for House Speaker.

Mr Trump said that Mr Scalise was unfit for the speakership role as he is battling blood cancer.

“Steve is a man that is in serious trouble, from the standpoint of his cancer,” Mr Trump said on Fox News Radio, adding, “I just don’t know how you can do the job when you have such a serious problem.”

He said: “I mean, he’s got to get better for himself. I’m not talking about even country now. I’m saying got to get better. And this is tremendous stress. … And, you know, most importantly, I want Steve to get well.”

Mr Scalise has said that his multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, is “very treatable” and that he is already exceeding his doctors’ expectations in terms of his progress.

Maroosha Muzaffar13 October 2023 05:30


‘Jesus couldn’t get the 217 votes’

Lauren Fox of CNN wrote on X on Thursday that “it’s been 9 days since McCarthy was ousted. GOP conference has gathered every day this week. Members joke Jesus couldn’t get the 217 votes to be their speaker. The amount of shrug emojis I’ve gotten from sources when asking what happens next? Too many to count”.

Gustaf Kilander13 October 2023 05:00


Exasperation as Scalise withdraws nomination: ‘House Republicans need to end the GOP Civil War’

After Republican Steve Scalise ended his bid to become House speaker, Democrats expressed exasperation with New York representative Hakeem Jeffries saying that “the House Republicans need to end the GOP Civil War, now”.

He said: “The House Democrats have continued to make clear that we are ready, willing and able to find a bipartisan path forward,” and urged that the House reopen and change GOP-led rules that allowed a single lawmaker to put in motion the process to remove the speaker.

Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, said the meetings had been marked by “emotional” objections to voting for Scalise.“It’s not for your personal grievances, but that’s unfortunately what I keep seeing.”

“Stop dragging it out,” Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga, said on her social media. “If Kevin McCarthy had to go 15 rounds then the next Speaker should be able to do the same or more if they have to.”

Maroosha Muzaffar13 October 2023 04:30


Scalise says ‘some people still have their own agendas’

Steve Scalise told GOP colleagues at a closed-door meeting late yesterday of his decision to withdraw his candidacy.

“I just shared with my colleagues that I’m withdrawing my name as a candidate for speaker-designee,” Mr Scalise told reporters soon after.

He said the Republican majority “still has to come together and is not there”.

Mr Scalise continued: “There are still some people that have their own agendas. And I was very clear, we have to have everybody put their agendas on the side and focus on what this country needs.”

Maroosha Muzaffar13 October 2023 03:57


Republicans blasted after House goes into recess after two minutes

The GOP has been criticised after the chaos within the House Republicans caused the chamber to go into recess after two minutes on Thursday.

“Dems put #peopleoverpolitics and are focused on lowering costs and supporting allies. What are Republicans focused on? Nothing. They’ve shut down the House for another day. Dems are ready to work on a bipartisan path forward. We need partners willing to abandon MAGA extremism,” California Democrat Ted Lieu wrote on X.

Fred Wellman, the host of the On Democracy podcast, added: “Republicans are blanketing media and social media attacking Biden for not doing enough for Israel. Meanwhile, these incompetent idiots can’t even hold a session of Congress. Journalists do your damn jobs. Call them out for their failure.”

Gustaf Kilander13 October 2023 03:15


House has been in session for less than nine hours in two weeks

After going into recess after two minutes on Thursday, Kristin Wilson of CNN noted that the House has “been in session a total of 8 hours and 39 minutes since McCarthy cancelled recess two weeks ago tomorrow”.

Gustaf Kilander13 October 2023 02:30


What’s next for the Republicans in the House?

Republicans offered little clarity on Thursday evening about next steps following the shock announcement that Steve Scalise would withdraw his nomination to be the next Speaker of the House, just a day after his colleagues voted to support him for the role.

The party has yet to coalesce around another candidate for the top House role.

Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana, for his part, said he’d throw his support behind Jim Jordan of Ohio, who competed against Mr Scalise for the party’s nomination during Wednesday’s original behind-the-scenes vote.

“I voted for Jim Jordan in the conference election yesterday and I remain committed to doing everything I can to help elect him the next Speaker of the House,” Mr Banks told NBC News. “He is a conservative fighter and a leader who can unite our party.”

Mr Scalise has said he’ll continue to serve as Majority Leader and will not get involved in endorsing who should be the GOP’s next pick for speaker.

Josh Marcus13 October 2023 02:00

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