Scalise Defeats Jordan to Win GOP Nomination for Speaker
Scalise Defeats Jordan to Win GOP Nomination for Speaker

By Jackson Richman and Joseph Lord

The House GOP is meeting to pick their nominee to succeed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as House speaker.

Mr. McCarthy was ousted on Oct. 3 through a motion to vacate that was filed by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and voted on by eight Republicans and all Democrats.

The candidates for speaker are House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Neither candidate emerged as a clear frontrunner after a closed-door forum held last night.

The speaker fight comes amid attacks by Hamas against Israel, which has in turn declared war on the U.S.-designated terrorist organization.

Massie Noncommittal—4:05 p.m.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) told reporters he is noncommittal about whom he will support for speaker. But he said he is “very reluctant” to support Mr. Scalise due to being uncomfortable with Mr. Scalise’s plan for funding the government. He would not say what Mr. Scalise’s plan is and told reporters to ask him. Mr. Massie expressed worry about an omnibus government funding bill before Christmas.

Gaetz to Vote for Scalise—3:17 p.m.

Mr. Gaetz told reporters after the conference that he “can’t wait to go vote for Steve Scalise.

“Long live, Speaker Scalise.”

House Vote Called Off—2:55 p.m.

The scheduled 3 p.m. vote for House speaker has been called off, a GOP staffer told The Epoch Times. It is unclear when the vote will be.

Jordan Supporters Vow to Vote for Him—2:33 p.m. ET

Despite losing the House GOP conference vote for speaker, Mr. Jordan still has his supporters who say they will continue to vote for him. This includes Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

“I just voted for Jim Jordan for Speaker on a private ballot in conference, and I will be voting for Jim Jordan on the House floor,” posted Ms. Greene on X, formerly Twitter.

“I like Steve Scalise, and I like him so much that I want to see him defeat cancer more than sacrifice his health in the most difficult position in Congress,” she continued.

“I lost my father to cancer and it’s a very serious battle.

“We need a Speaker who is able to put their full efforts into defeating the communist democrats and save America.”

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Rep. Max Miller (R-Ohio) told reporters that he will “continue to vote” for Mr. Jordan if Mr. Scalise secures the nomination.

House Democrat Whip: Prepare to Stay—2:23 p.m. ET

House Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) sent out a notice to the House Democrat conference that a floor vote could come as early as 3 p.m., and that members should prepare to stay in Washington until a speaker is elected.

Scalise Honored by Nomination—1:54 p.m. ET

Mr. Scalise told reporters that he is thankful to his House GOP colleagues for nominating him to be the next speaker of the House. He acknowledged that, given he does not yet have the 217 votes secured to get the gavel, there is “work to do.”

“We’re going to have to go upstairs on the House floor and resolve this and get the House open again,” he said, noting that there is a lot of work to be done amid numerous issues including the Hamas-Israel conflict.

He said that a pro-Israel resolution will be the first thing voted on once the House has picked a speaker.

House Floor Vote at 3 p.m.—1:39 p.m. ET

The House floor is scheduled to vote at 3 p.m. ET on who will be the next speaker of the House,  Reps. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told reporters.

Whether Mr. Scalise can get at least 217 votes is unclear, given that some Rep. Jordan supporters have indicated they might not switch their votes on the floor.

Whether anyone, let alone Mr. Scalise, can get at least 217 votes is unclear.

Scalise Wins Nomination—1:09 p.m. ET

Mr. Scalise was nominated on Oct. 11 by the House GOP conference, 113-99, to be their pick to succeed Mr. McCarthy as House speaker. This was followed by cheers and clapping.

However, the fight is far from over as Mr. Scalise will need at least 217 votes to be speaker.

Votes Being Counted–12:30 p.m. ET

Votes cast in a secret ballot for speaker nominee are being counted, according to Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) who was leaving the room.

Rep. Scalise or Rep. Jordan will have to secure a simple majority to win the nomination. But a winner would still have to obtain 217 votes to secure the gavel on the House floor.

Rule Change Proposal Gets Tabled–12:08 p.m. ET

A proposal by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), which would require a candidate to secure 217 votes to be nominee on the House floor, was tabled, a source familiar with the development told The Epoch Times. This development would appear to benefit Mr. Scalise in his bid for the gavel.

The conference will now proceed to vote for a nominee for speaker.

GOP to Vote on Proposal—11:28 a.m. ET

First order of business, members are expected to vote on a proposal by Mr. Roy, which would require a candidate to secure 217 votes to be nominee on the House floor.

The proposal, according to a draft obtained by The Epoch Times, lays out the following procedure: If somebody gets the majority of votes, but falls short of 217 votes, that person will then answer questions from the House GOP conference. Afterward, a secret ballot will be taken that asks question: “Will you commit to support this candidate on the floor of the House?”

If the candidate does not get 217 votes in the secret ballot, they will be asked further questions by the conference. Following that, another secret ballot with the same question about committal will be taken. If at least 185, but short of 217, members vote in favor, the candidate will again answer questions from the conference followed by a roll call vote asking the same question about committing to support the candidate on the House floor.

If the candidate falls short of 217 during the roll call vote, then they will be questioned again. Another roll call will then take place, and if the candidate does not get at least 185 votes, the nominating process will restart.

Rep. Burchett Mum on Vote—10:43 a.m. ET

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) would not tell reporters before the meeting who he’s voting for.

He was one of the eight Republicans who joined Democrats to oust Mr. McCarthy last week. Only one of the eight—Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.)—has publically declared their choice. She is supporting Mr. Jordan.

GOP Meeting Starts–10:30 a.m. ET

The House GOP has gone into a room in the Longworth House Office Building. Before picking a nominee, they will vote on a rule that would require 217 GOP votes in order to be speaker nominee.

“It’s really really important that this Congress get back to work,” Mr. Scalise told reporters before the meeting. He cited the need to support Israel—as legislation, even a resolution, cannot be passed on the House floor until there is a speaker or an elected speaker pro tempore.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) has been serving as an appointed speaker pro tempore based on a list Mr. McCarthy compiled shortly after becoming speaker in January.

Ryusuke Abe contributed to this report.

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