Steve Scalise enters race for Speaker

October 4, 2023

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) announced he was entering the race for Speaker of the House following the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the leadership position.

McCarthy was ousted from the Speakership Tuesday when a vote on a motion to vacate, brought by far-right Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), passed 216-210. Eight Republicans, including Gaetz, sided with Democrats who voted en masse in favor of no confidence.

On social media Wednesday, Scalise posted a two-page announcement, writing that he was joining the race with a “strong sense of responsibility and purpose.”

Scalise’s announcement came hours after House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) tossed his hat into the race.

Both Scalise and Jordan are on a growing list of possible successors to McCarthy, which also includes Republican Study Committee chair Kevin Hern (R-OK) and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN). 

In October 2017, Scalise returned to Capitol Hill after overcoming a near-fatal shooting during a Congressional baseball practice in June. He reportedly had come close to bleeding out on the field, but a fellow member of Congress, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), a veteran Afghan combat doctor, immediately began treating him by applying a tourniquet to the wound.

The Majority Leader is entering the Speaker’s race even as he’s undergoing treatment for blood cancer.

Scalise or anyone else who runs for the Speaker’s gavel is likely to face a slog much like that which McCarthy experienced in January, when it took four days 15 rounds of voting for the Californian to secure the Speakership.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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