OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) has removed himself from the race to become the next Speaker after failing to get the required support of 217 fellow Republicans during a closed-door session of the GOP Caucus on Thursday, according to reports.
Fox News noted that following the meeting, Scalise called on his party, which has a slim majority in the House, to put their political differences aside and unify behind a candidate. Some reports have suggested that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan could not be seen as the frontrunner in the race.
“If you look at over the last few weeks, if you look at where our conferences there’s still work to be done,” the Louisiana Republicans said. “Our conference still has to come together and is not there.
“There are still some people that have their own agendas. And 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,” he added.
“This House of Representatives needs a speaker, and we need to open up the House again. But clearly, not everybody is there. And they’re still schisms that have to get resolved. I never came here for a title; I’ve had some great titles. I’m the Majority Leader of the House, and I love the job I have,” he continued.
Scalise went on to say that he would push to get a speaker elected quickly, but he did not endorse anyone.
“I’ve cut no deals with anybody. I’m sure there will be a lot of people that look at it. But it’s got to be people that aren’t doing it for themselves and their own personal interests,” he said.
Earlier this week, Scalise won a GOP conference vote to become Speaker over Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the current chairman of the Judiciary Committee. However, many Republicans said the wouldn’t vote for him on the floor.
Fox News added:
Following the conference meeting Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said he was “not surprised” to see Scalise leave the race. He expressed his support for Jordan and said he thinks he can reach the required votes to become speaker.
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., who supported Jordan in the conference vote, reacted with a statement saying he remained “committed to doing everything I can to help elect him the next speaker of the House.”
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted as Speaker earlier this month in a historic first. Since then, he has said he won’t run for the position again. He also denied subsequent reports that he would retire from Congress.
“No, I’m not resigning. I’m staying, so don’t worry,” he said to reporters. “We’re going to keep the majority, I’m going to help the people I got here and we’re going to expand it further.”
In a press conference following his removal, which was initiated by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) after he filed a motion to vacate the chair, McCarthy informed reporters that he would not seek the Speakership again.
“From the day I entered politics, my initial mission has always been to make tomorrow better than today. I fought for what I believe in, and I believe in this country of America,” the former Speaker said. “My goals have not changed. My ability to fight is just in a different form.”
“Unfortunately, 4 percent of our conference can join all the Democrats and dictate who can be the Republican Speaker in this House,” he said. “I don’t think that room is good for the institution, but apparently, I’m the only one. I believe I can continue to fight, maybe in a different manner. I will not run for Speaker again. I’ll have the conference pick somebody else.”