Scalise short of the votes he needs to be elected speaker, working on holdouts
The House gaveled in and gaveled out without a vote for Speaker Thursday afternoon. Why? Because Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., doesn’t have the 217 votes he needs to be officially elected Speaker on the House floor.
Scalise won the nomination in a simple majority vote amongst Republicans Wednesday.
There are 221 Republicans in the House of Representatives, so Scalise can lose only four votes. But there are already at least eight Republicans who stated they won’t vote for him. So team Scalise has some work to do.
“I’m not convinced we’re unified though. We got the same problem. You got eight goofballs who don’t follow, only follow themselves. They don’t, they’re not, no loyalty at all,” Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said.
“I would say that it is my estimation that 90% of those who supported Mr. Jordan will come over to support Scalise. I am not naive to think that we will get all of them in the first vote. But if you go to the floor and you have an open process, I think we will winnow that group down to where we get to 217 in a matter of, you know, one or two more rounds,” Rep. Jody Arrington R-Texas, said.
There’s now a rift in the party between those who want to go out and have public votes, and those who want to settle their differences behind closed doors.
“I think we should have some more dialogue. I just want to make sure that we don’t go through what we did in January and embarrass ourselves because it was the clown show was a clown show,” Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, told reporters.
Many members, regardless of whether they support Scalise, are saying time is of the essence and they need to elect a Speaker as possible. Congress wants to pass a resolution supporting Israel and government funding runs out in a little over a month. They can’t do anything without a Speaker.