Majority Leader Steve Scalise Drops Out Of Speaker’s Race As House GOP Faces Leadership Crisis


House Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced his withdrawal from the campaign for speaker on Thursday after House Republicans failed to unite behind him following Kevin McCarthy’s historic fall.

“I just shared with my colleagues that I’m withdrawing my name as a candidate for the speaker designee,” the Louisiana Republican told reporters.

Just one day after the GOP conference chose Scalise over Rep. Jim Jordan, 113-99, Scalise’s speakership nomination was swiftly defeated. After a group of Republicans almost instantly blocked his way and announced they would never vote for Scalise as speaker, the resignation was as unexpected as it was expected. The action worsens the GOP leadership situation in the House, where there is still no sign of a strong contender who could win the required 217 votes to take the gavel.

In order to move the House forward while it is still in a speakerless standstill, Republicans will now need to work quickly. Republicans have called for the interim speaker’s authority to be increased in response to the instability.

The conference was immediately pushed by numerous GOP lawmakers to back Jordan for speaker. However, Republicans are not united behind the Ohio Republican because they are split and enraged at their leadership failure.

For a variety of reasons, several Republicans stated that they anticipated the opposition to increase. Jordan “never” will be a speaker, according to one.

Jordan is a non-starter for her, Missouri Representative Ann Wagner told CNN. According to a source close to the situation, Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia stood up at the GOP conference meeting and declared he would not back Jordan.

Additionally, after Jordan backers aided in the defeat of Scalise’s campaign, Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska expressed concern over “rewarding bad behavior.”

“I think there’s enough people that would see what has happened and transpired over the last 40 hours to not support him that we’re going to have the same problem with Jordan that we had with Scalise,” said Rep. Mike Garcia of California, who said he is backing Jordan. “I think it’s a math problem, frankly.”

Due to two vacancies, Jordan or any other contender must receive 217 votes, which is a majority of the entire House, to be elected speaker. Therefore, if there are no abstentions, a GOP speaker nominee can only afford to lose four GOP Republican votes. Democrats are anticipated to consistently support Hakeem Jeffries, the House Minority Leader.

On Friday morning, House Republicans will gather once more behind closed doors to deliberate their next steps.

Jordan will not confirm or deny if he will run for speaker on Thursday night. After the conference meeting, he told reporters that it would be preferable to make any announcements regarding potential events tomorrow.