House will not hold Speaker vote today, say reports

Mr Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, was chosen by his GOP colleagues over Ohio lawmaker Jim Jordan

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 11 October 2023 16:00 EDT

Steve Scalise thanks House Republicans for nominating him for Speaker

The House will not vote on electing a new speaker on Wednesday, despite Steve Scalise being chosen by Republicans behind closed doors to become their nominee.

Lawmakers were expected to meet on the floor on Wednesday afternoon before recessing, reported CNN.

Mr Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, was chosen by his GOP colleagues over Ohio lawmaker Jim Jordan to replace Kevin McCarthy, who was kicked out of the job by his party last week.

Mr Scalise will now have to win a floor vote in the House with a majority of the whole chamber to become speaker.

He will require 217 votes to become speaker, meaning he can only lose four GOP votes if all Democrats vote against him.

Mr Scalise admitted he still had work to do to secure the necessary votes as 99 Republicans voted for Mr Jordan to be the nominee, and may continue to vote for him on the floor.

“First I want to thank my House Republican colleagues for designating me as the speaker. Obviously, we still have work to do,” he said after winning the nomination.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) emerges from House Republican conference meeting after being tapped as Speaker-elect in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 11, 2023 in Washington, DC. Scalise earned more votes than his opponent, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH).

“We’re going to have to go upstairs on the House floor and resolve this and then get the House open again.”

The 58-year-old previously served in the Louisiana state House and had a very brief tenure in the state Senate before he joined the US House in 2008, picking up Bobby Jindal’s seat when he became governor.

Addressing colleagues in a letter on 4 October as he outlined his reasons for running for the speakership, Mr Scalise mentioned being shot at a 2017 congressional baseball practice, thanking those who “saved my life” during the incident.

“I firmly believe this conference is a family. When I was shot in 2017, it was members of this conference who saved my life on that field. When I made it to the hospital and my family was told my chances of surviving were low, it was the prayers from all of you that carried us through,” he said.

“You know my leadership style I’ve displayed as your majority leader and whip. I have a proven track record of bringing together the diverse array of viewpoints within our conference to build consensus where others thought it impossible,” he added.

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