In a remarkable turn of events, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) made a shocking announcement stating that he is ending his bid to be the next Speaker of the House Representative.
“I just shared with my colleague that I’m withdrawing my name as a candidate for speaker designee,” Scalise said while adding that there is still much work to be done by the Republican conference.
Scalise suggested that he was stepping down because there are some House Republicans who have “their own agenda.” The lawmaker urged those individuals to put their own agendas on the side and do what is best for the country.
Scalise withdraws name as candidate in House Speaker race … pic.twitter.com/lJ33ar3pBy
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) October 13, 2023
“I was very clear we have to have everybody put their agendas on the side and focus on what this country needs, this country is counting on us to come back together,” Scalise said. “But there’s some folks that really need to look in the mirror over the next couple of days and decide are we going to get it back on track, or they’re going to try to pursue their own agenda… I never came here for a title. And it’s much bigger than me and it’s much bigger than anybody else and nobody’s going to use me as an excuse to hold back our ability to get the House opened again”
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) applauded Scalise’s decision, labeling the Louisiana lawmaker a selfless statesman.
“I am asking members of the GOP to return to Washington so that we can nominate a Speaker,” Luna wrote on X social media. “Scalise is a statesman and acted in true selfless fashion by stepping aside. This needs to happen.”
I am asking members of the GOP to return to Washington so that we can nominate a Speaker. Scalise is a statesman and acted in true selfless fashion by stepping aside. This needs to happen. Here are some options:
— Anna Paulina Luna (@realannapaulina) October 13, 2023
With Scalise out of the race, Rep. Jim Jordan has now become the overwhelming favorite to become the next speaker. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) described Jordan as the “obvious choice for the conference”
GOP IN Rep Banks: Jim Jordan is the obvious choice for the conference he's the only man in the room that can rally 217 votes and the best thing Republicans can do is get behind him, make him the speaker, do it tonight.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 13, 2023
Scalise’s decision to drop from the race comes after he beat House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) 113-99 in a secret ballot vote for the House republican nomination.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke on the ongoing Republican conference meeting: "It's a waste of time." She also expressed concern for the health of Rep. Scalise and other leaders: "When you're in a tight game you don’t put an injured player or a sick player on the field." pic.twitter.com/pbUjK2a6ep
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 12, 2023
However, some House Republican members have come out to oppose the lawmaker, with REP. Majorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) noting that Scalise’s battle with cancer is a cause of concern.