Questions about a McCarthy speakership fuel speculation about Scalise

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 10:18 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - GOP House Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana is backing current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for House Speaker as Republicans inch closer to a majority in the House of Representatives.

But McCarthy is not seen as a shoo-in for the Speaker’s post and that is fueling speculation that some Republicans in Congress may push for Scalise instead.

Scalise made his bid official for the Majority Leader’s position on Wednesday after easily winning reelection. It is a position that would have Scalise managing the House floor.

“What bills come up in the House of Representatives, it’s something I’ve already been talking to my colleagues about. I’ve got a vision for what I’d like to see us address. We need to get back to confronting the pocketbook issues,” said Scalise.

But since Republicans did not enjoy a red wave on election day McCarthy is expected to face pushback from some Republicans as she seeks the House Speakership.

Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins, Ph.D. worked on Capitol Hill in the senate.

“There are a lot of Republicans in the House especially the Freedom Caucus members that are saying, this is due to poor leadership from Kevin McCarthy, we had a bad mid-term and it’s a leadership issue and so they’re looking for a new leader right now,” said Collins.

Some members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are not willing to concede that McCarthy is the presumptive House Speaker.

And Collins agrees McCarthy will face pushback.

“We can expect some sort of leadership challenge to Kevin McCarthy, it might not be a public one, it might be behind the scenes but we can expect one to come about and of course, Steve Scalise would be a logical choice for them to put his name in there because he is in line to be Majority Leader,” Collins stated.

Scalise told FOX News he is supporting McCarthy for Speaker of the House and he believes McCarthy will win.

But Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry told reporters on Thursday he had not spoken with McCarthy about the position.

“I stand ready to have a conversation. But I called the Leader yesterday, I didn’t get an opportunity to talk with him. So, but I would say this, too. I’m not running for Speaker. When I’m running for office, and I’ve done that, I go out and I see my potential constituents and, you know, I try and earn their vote. And I think that anybody that’s running for any office ought to, that’s the position. And I’m not trying to be disrespectful or pejorative, but that’s — you earn the vote, you earn it,” said Perry.

Scalise was first elected to Congress in 2008 and over the years he’s influence within his party has certainly grown. “He’s a smart operator, he’s a smart political operative,” said Collins.

And now there’s buzz about whether some on Capitol Hill would prefer Scalise over McCarthy for the House Speaker’s Job.

“I think he would have to give it serious consideration if he sees that there’s no way Kevin McCarthy is going to become Speaker and the choice is either him or someone else who’s not friendly to him or his faction then I think he will have to seriously consider allowing his name to be put up for a vote,” said Collins.

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