Steve Scalise, the Republican Representative from Louisiana, is facing an uphill battle in his quest to become Speaker of the House. As reported by Breitbart News, more than twenty House Republicans have already stated that they will not be voting for Scalise on the floor. This is a significant blow to Scalise, considering that he only received 110 of the 221 eligible Republican votes in the closed-door nomination process.
Well over twenty House Republicans from across the ideological spectrum are against Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and will not vote for him on the floor, a source with knowledge told Breitbart News. https://t.co/yHbVTtAc3L
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 11, 2023
Scalise’s attempt to secure the speakership seems even more precarious when you consider the individuals who have publicly pledged their support for his opponent, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. Representatives Max Miller, Thomas Massie, Anna Paulina Luna, Michael Cloud, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Barry Moore, Nancy Mace, and Lauren Boebert have all confirmed that they will be voting for Jordan. Even Rep. Carlos Giménez of Florida has thrown his support behind Rep. Kevin McCarthy.
Surprises are for little kids at birthday parties, not Congress. So, I let Scalise know in person that he doesn’t have my vote on the floor, because he has not articulated a viable plan for avoiding an omnibus.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) October 11, 2023
HOUSE INTEL CHAIR MIKE TURNER tells @jaketapper he’s undecided on voting for scalise.
Turner: He came out with 110 votes; he needs 217. He's going to have to give us a message or an understanding of how he's going to bridge that gap and make certain that he brings Congress…
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 11, 2023
One particular issue that may be contributing to Scalise’s lack of support is his controversial past. It has been revealed that Scalise attended a white supremacist conference in 2002 and once compared himself to David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan. While Scalise has apologized and distanced himself from these actions, some Republicans are still uneasy about supporting him.
To make matters worse, Scalise’s decision to rush a vote to the House floor, despite lacking the necessary support, has drawn criticism from his colleagues. By doing so, Scalise is inviting a repeat of the January division within the Republican Party, which is something that many Republicans want to avoid.
In the end, Scalise’s chances of winning the speakership are uncertain. He will need to somehow gain the support of those who have already spoken out against him, and it remains to be seen whether the pressure from the mainstream media will lead them to change their minds. Regardless of the outcome, this battle for the speakership highlights the deep divisions within the Republican Party.