Scalise wins speaker nomination over ‘outsider’ favorite Jordan

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News October 11, 2023

By a vote of 113-99, House Republicans on Wednesday chose Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana as their nominee to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker. Scalise edged out Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Rep. Steve Scalise

“Scalise’s supporters have pitched him as best positioned to unify the conference,” the Wall Street Journal noted. “In part, they draw on the emotional connection he built to many in the conference after coming back from a near-deadly shooting in 2017 during a congressional baseball practice.”

Jordan was seen as the “outsider” favorite, having gained the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who brought the motion to vacate McCarthy as Speaker to the floor, said he would support either Scalise or Jordan. Rep. Eli Crane of Arizona, another of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy, said that he would also support either Scalise or Jordan on the floor no matter who he voted for in conference.

The Republicans voted in a closed-door meeting with no cellphones allowed.

Republicans currently hold 221 seats in the House while Democrats hold 212.

In their closed-door meeting, Republicans first blocked a proposal from GOP Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania that would have required the winning candidate to secure 217 votes—the number needed to get elected on the House floor—rather than simply have the most votes of any candidate. Allies of Scalise had been lobbying against the rules change, which was dismissed in a 135-88 vote, according to a congressional aide.

“My takeaway is whoever comes out on the majority today we should get behind and get a Speaker,” Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska said.

Some Republicans cautioned that they were not sure that their winning candidate could hit the 217-vote majority threshold needed to be elected Speaker on the House floor.

All Democrats are expected to vote for their pick, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

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