Steve Scalise, the Republican candidate to lead the US House of Representatives, faces a test Thursday of whether he can win enough support from his divided party’s conference to be elected speaker of the house.
A day after defeating House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan for the nomination in a secret party vote, the Louisiana Republican has yet to show if he can get the 217 Republican votes needed to overcome opposition. Democrat and will be elected to the second position in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president.
“When we get to the floor, there is at least a fairly high expectation on the part of Steve Scalise and his team that he will have the votes,” said Rep. John Duarte, a Scalise supporter.
Republican leaders initially scheduled a House meeting for Wednesday afternoon, when Scalise, now the No. 2 Republicans in the House, quickly got the votes for the election. But no vote was taken.
The House’s inability to move legislation without a speaker adds a sense of urgency, as Republicans face pressure to act to support Israel’s war against Palestinian militants Hamas and i -restart government funding legislation as Congress nears a new Nov. shutdown deadline. 17.
Jordan plans to vote for Scalise and is encouraging his fellow Republicans to do the same, according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
But a state of uncertainty hangs over the House more than a week after eight Republicans ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from office with the help of Democrats, with some lawmakers still publicly supporting Jordan. and others vowed to vote for McCarthy.
While McCarthy was the first speaker of the House to be removed in a formal vote, the last two Republicans to hold the position ended up leaving the position under pressure from party hardliners.
“Clearly, this doesn’t look good for the House or the country,” Rep. Dusty Johnson, a Republican, told reporters. “We have very tight margins and, frankly, some members have a hard time getting a ‘yes’ to almost anything.”