Scalise Remains Short of Votes for Speaker

October 12, 2023

Roughly 24 hours after House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) clinched the nomination to be speaker, he is reportedly well short of the 217 Republican votes needed to win the speaker’s gavel on the House floor.

House Republicans are in a closed conference meeting this afternoon to discuss the situation, but many hardline Republicans are still supporting Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who Scalise topped in a conference-wide vote on Wednesday.

Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR), an ardent supporter of Scalise, said today that Scalise needs Democratic support – if not outright votes in favor, then voting “present” to lower the threshold of votes required to win a simple majority. “If they want the floor to be open again…we’ve got to elect a speaker,” Womack said.

Without a speaker, the House is unable to consider legislation to aid Israel in its war against Hamas or pass any appropriations bills to avoid a potential government shutdown in mid-November.

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