OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The Republican Party has chosen House Majority Leader Steve Scalise to be the next speaker.
On Wednesday, the Republican from Louisiana secured a simple majority of the Republican conference after defeating Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan in a secret ballot vote, Politico reported.
Scalise still faces a greater challenge: he needs to secure support from a majority of House members. To become president, he needs 217 votes while losing no more than 4 Republican votes.
A faction of House Republicans on Wednesday turned down a bid for a plan to ensure that the next Speaker would go more smoothly than the record 15 votes it took in January before then-Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was finally chosen.
“House Republicans on Wednesday nixed an internal rules change that would have helped ensure whoever wins their speaker nod has the support needed to prevail on the floor,” Politico reported.
“Republicans voted 135-88 to table a proposal from Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) to require 217 of the 221 House Republicans to agree on their next leader before any speakership vote on the floor, where Democrats are set to remain united in support of Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.),” the outlet added.
According to previous reports, current Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) are vying to become the next speaker in a race that could be settled by the end of business on Wednesday, though many other Republicans believe it’ll take longer.
🚨Just in: Steve Scalise has officially won the House Republican nomination for Speaker of the House. Scalise defeated Jordan 113 to 99. pic.twitter.com/GV1ewXZAQQ
— The Calvin Coolidge Project (@TheCalvinCooli1) October 11, 2023
Politico said that the vote on Roy’s proposal was likely a test of support for Scalise “because his allies came to view the rules change as a covert effort to block him from becoming the conference’s nominee.”
The outlet added:
After Kevin McCarthy struggled through 15 ballots before winning the speakership in January, Republicans began discussing the idea of changing their internal rules for tapping candidates to claim the top gavel. Advocates of the new standard argued that it would have saved House Republicans from another high-profile failure to unite behind a leader.
The tabling of the Roy proposal was confirmed by three people with knowledge of the vote. Some GOP lawmakers said privately that they supported the idea, but disagreed with how Roy’s measure was written.
Its rejection means that whoever lands the House GOP’s internal nomination will likely face a scramble to secure the needed votes before heading to the floor — or even during the floor proceedings, depending on when Republicans attempt to hold a speaker vote by the full chamber.
Roy is backing Scalise for speaker, but neither he nor Jordan have the requisite 217 votes to take the gavel.
Last week, Roy engaged in an expletive-filled tirade during an interview with The Blaze following the historic vote to vacate the Speaker’s chair and oust McCarthy.
In an interview with Steve Deace, Roy did not mention GOP colleague Rep. Matt Gaetz by name, but he appeared to reference the Florida Republican who was responsible for filing the motion to vacate. He also seemed to dare Gaetz and his allies to come to his office to “debate.”
“Some of our brothers and sisters – particularly in the, you know, MAGA camp, I think – particularly enjoy the circular firing squad,” Roy told Steve Deace of The Blaze before ripping into fellow Republicans for supposedly calling him a RINO – Republican In Name Only — after he supported McCarthy.
“You wanna come out me and call me a RINO? You can kiss my a**. Look, I’ve spent a lifetime fighting for limited government conservatism. I have laid it all on the line,” Roy continued.
“I have not seen my family for two days in the last 30 days. You go around talking your big game and you thumping your chest on Twitter? Yeah. Come to my office, come have a debate, mother,” he added.
After Deace suggested withdrawing from the political scene because Republicans can’t seem to move the needle much, Roy pushed back on that idea.
“I’m not gonna go to a nunnery, because godda**it, there were people who are buried over in Normandy (France) who deserve us to stand up for what they fought for,” Roy argued. “So that’s what I’m gonna do. And all of you f**kers out there who are out there saying what you’re saying out on social media, you stick it! I’m gonna go down to the floor and do my job, and I’m gonna stand up for the people who fought for this country.”
Roy then offered an olive branch to Gaetz and the seven other Republicans who joined with all present Democrats to oust McCarthy, saying he only disagreed with the approach.
“Like, I respect what Gaetz and my four, five, six brothers are doing right now because they want to change things,” he added.