House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) has dropped out of the race for House Speaker as he was unable to sway holdouts.
“I just shared with my colleagues that I’m withdrawing my name as a candidate for the speaker designee,” Scalise told reporters. “If you look at where our conference is there’s still work to be done. Our conference still has to come together and is not there.”
Scalise narrowly defeated House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) in a secret ballot at the GOP conference meeting earlier this week. Since then, the number of Republicans to publicly voice their opposition to his candidacy has increased, blocking his path to 217 votes and the Speaker’s gavel.
“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,” Scalise said Thursday. “This country is counting on us to come back together. This House of Representatives needs a speaker and we need to open up the House again, but clearly not everybody is there and there’s still schisms that have to get resolved.”
This means that House Republicans do not have a nominee for Speaker again more than one week after Florida Congressman Rep. Matt Gaetz led the successful effort to remove Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as Speaker.
Jordan could throw his hat in the ring but he is unlikely to get the 217 votes needed to win the gavel.