See, this is what I have been saying. The Speakers race is all just a game to the GOP. Once you think everything is set and done, then chaos happens, and oh look, surprise surprise surprise, the Speaker has not been chosen.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Thursday dropped out of the race for Speaker, just one day after he won the Republican nomination for the role.
Scalise narrowly prevailed in a secret ballot internal GOP election on Wednesday, but it was clear almost immediately that he would struggle to get the 217 votes needed on the House floor.
Momentum swung further against him, and as Thursday progressed an increasing number of Republicans declared they would not cast their votes for him.
It’s not clear where the fractured Republican conference will go next, as the House closes in on 10 days without an elected Speaker.
“It’s been quite a journey. And there’s still a long way to go. I just share with my colleagues that I’m withdrawing my name as a candidate for the speaker designee,” Scalise said Thursday night.
He added, “This country is counting on us to come back together. This House of Representatives needs a Speaker and we need to open up the House again. But clearly, not everybody is there. And there’s still schisms that have to get resolved.”
Those schisms were on full display this week.
Scalise won the Republican nomination over Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) by a vote of 113-99. Jordan threw his support to Scalise but many of his supporters didn’t follow.
Republican leaders held back from calling a vote on the House floor as the conference held several multi-hour, closed-door meetings but left each one reporting little progress.
That came after eight Republicans voted with all Democrats to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last week, an unprecedented move that sent the House into chaos.
Scalise on Thursday took a dig at some of the holdouts.
“There’s some folks that really need to look in the mirror over the next couple of days and decide, are we going to get it back on track or are they going to try to pursue their own agenda. You can’t do both,” he said.
At the same time, the U.S. is approaching another government shutdown deadline and war has broken out in Israel.