Though not nominated some Republicans open to considering Scalise for House’s top job

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 7:24 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The standoff between a small group of Republicans in the U.S. House persisted all day Thursday (Jan. 5) and by the evening, an 11th vote was underway for the job of House Speaker fueling more speculation that Louisianan Steve Scalise could be nominated.

Kevin McCarthy, R-California, has repeatedly failed to win enough votes to make him speaker even though the majority of the Republican caucus supports him.

Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins, Ph.D., worked in the U.S. Senate and knows how things work on Capitol Hill.

“We have not had nine votes for a speaker of the House of Representatives since 1923, so we are now going into historic territory, this hasn’t happened in over a hundred years,” said Collins.

Because of that, some Republicans who currently supporting McCarthy for the job are not ruling out considering Scalise as an alternative.

Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado was asked about that on CNN.

“I certainly would consider it. I would not -- the only person I would not consider nominating for the worst job in America is Ken buck, other than that, I am wide open,” Buck stated.

Collins does not think McCarthy will voluntarily give up his quest to become speaker.

“If the 20 rebellious Republicans continue to dig in and there is no progress to get any of them to switch their votes I do think there is going to be a groundswell of support around Steve Scalise as the compromise candidate,” said Collins. Now Congressman Scalise is never going to say that, of course, because he always wants to appear loyal to Kevin McCarthy.”

Collins was asked if it is a smart approach for Scalise to take.

“Yes, I think because he is scheduled to be majority leader, he has to appear loyal to his speaker candidate at all times because if Kevin McCarthy were to win the vote then certainly you don’t want, a Congressman Scalise would not want his position as majority leader to be threatened or his relationship with Kevin McCarthy to be threatened,” Collins said.

Florida’s Matt Gaetz is so opposed to McCarthy becoming house speaker that he nominated a former president.

“Donald John Trump,” said Gaetz.

Collins said in response, “It’s basically a publicity stunt by him to continue to get coverage.”

And without a House speaker being decided upon the House is paralyzed.

“Nothing moves in Washington D.C. until a speaker is in place, the members of the House cannot even be sworn into office until a speaker is in place,” said Collins. “The Joint Chiefs of Staff was scheduled to give a security briefing to the members this week, that security briefing had to be canceled.”

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