No. 2 House Republican Steve Scalise won the GOP nomination for speaker, paving the way for a floor vote to make the election official. Republicans held a secret closed-door ballot Wednesday morning after days of drama and infighting. Scalise, who is battling blood cancer, beat out House Judiciary Chairman and Trump ally Jim Jordan in a 113-99 vote.
But it is still a steep path ahead for Scalise to make the promotion official – he must get at least 217 votes on the House floor. It is not clear when a vote will be scheduled, but it could occur as soon as this afternoon. DailyMail.com has learned that Reps. Max Miller and Lauren Boebert still plan to vote for Jordan on the floor, which could drag out the process if others join them. However, it remains to be seen if Jordan ends up dropping out of the race entirely.
In addition, Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida and others have pledged to continue to support Kevin McCarthy – despite him not being on the ballot. Last week, eight Republicans voted with Democrats to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy , leaving a power vacuum on Capitol Hill. Days later, Reps. Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise threw their hats in the ring for the top leadership position.
Rep. Matt Gaetz , R-Fla., the fiery Florida congressman who launched the vote to oust McCarthy, said Wednesday that he will be voting for Scalise, calling him an ‘upgrade’ from McCarthy. He called Jordan and Scalise ‘two respected and trusted men.’
Scalise, as a current member of the GOP leadership team, seemingly garnered more traction among establishment Republicans while Jordan remained popular with the conference’s right wing. The secret vote on the speaker nominee came after Republicans voted to reject a plan to increase the number of votes needed to select a speaker nominee to 217. Scalise only needed a majority to get the nomination before the full floor vote.
Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., is running to replace Scalise as majority leader. He said that there could be a floor vote for speaker as soon as 3 p.m. today. Tensions between McCarthy and Scalise are an open secret in Washington. They first boiled over publicly when conservatives became angry at the a deal McCarthy did with Joe Biden on the debt ceiling.
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