The race for House Speaker gained new life this week after Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) announced that he would be dropping out of consideration for the position. Scalise had gained a nomination from the House GOP caucus over Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who reentered the race after Scalise’s exit.
Scalise said Thursday that the House GOP 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 said.
For years, I've stayed out of House leadership elections, but this time I endorsed @Jim_Jordan. Jim is a good friend and a strong conservative.
My philosophy on political endorsements is to support the strongest conservative who can win. That is Jim Jordan.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 13, 2023
Scalise said that the “schisms” in the House needed to be resolved and that he loved his current role as House Majority Leader.
Scalise narrowly bested Jordan for a nomination for House Speaker earlier this week.
With Scalise’s exit, Jordan appears to be in the best position to be named to the position. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee received a number of endorsements from his GOP colleagues. The House Republican caucus discussed the matter in a closed-door meeting Friday.
Scalise may have one other opponent in the race, fellow conservative Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), who discussed the matter Friday.
Jordan had previously received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, who praised both his legislative and sports record.
“Jim Jordan is the only person who can unite the conference and get 217 votes to become speaker,” said a spokesperson for the Ohio Republican.
While Jordan has a lead within the Republican caucus, it is not yet clear whether the 217-vote threshold mentioned above would be met in a floor vote.
Jordan opposed the toppling of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last week, who was defeated by a coalition of eight Republicans voting alongside a unanimous vote from House Democrats. Jordan and Scalise were both allies of McCarthy.