Louisiana Congressman Wins GOP Vote for Speaker, Heads to House Floor for Final Vote
WASHINGTON D.C. (KPEL News) - In a backroom vote among Republican lawmakers, Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise has won a preliminary vote for the vacant Speaker of the House role that was held by Kevin McCarthy until recently.
Scalise, who is currently the House Majority Leader, won a secret ballot vote 113-99, according to sources.
Earlier today, there was a conference vote to raise the threshold for nomination to 218, the number also needed to win a public vote among all House members to take the chair. However, that move failed, clearing what was believed to be a significant hurdle for Scalise.
The Louisiana politician, who was speculated early in the process to be one of the finalists in the race, is expected to become the next Speaker of the House as Congress races to fill the vacant seat. However, he is far from guaranteed an easy path to the chair if the holdouts who supported his opponent, Jim Jordan, don't swiftly consolidate behind him.
Jordan, a prominent figure among House conservatives, had received endorsements from several conservative pundits across the country. But reports indicate that the Scalise team was busy over the weekend whipping votes to his cause and getting the necessary support.
What Comes Next?
Republicans are expected to bring the vote to the House floor Wednesday afternoon. The House cannot advance legislation on any topic - including aid for Israel amid ongoing conflict with Hamas and not Hezbollah - until the Speaker's chair is filled.
However, Scalise will need to win almost every single Republican vote in order to win the job. If he cannot consolidate Republican holdouts, that does leave the door open for Democrats to cross over and vote for a candidate. If that becomes the case, it potentially complicates Scalise's role as Speaker with conservatives further distrusting Republican leadership in the House.
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