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La. Congressman Steve Scalise announces bid to fill House speaker vacancy after McCarthy's historic removal

1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago Wednesday, October 04 2023 Oct 4, 2023 October 04, 2023 12:30 PM October 04, 2023 in News
Source: Associated Press
Photo via Associated Press

UPDATE: Louisiana Congressman and House majority leader Steve Scalise, alerted his peers Wednesday that he will seek to fill the vacancy at House Speaker.

Read the letter from Scalise below.

Dear Colleague,

We all came here to save this country from being taken down a dangerous path of destruction. We don’t sacrifice time with our families to come to Washington to fight over the small things – we are here because we care about our children’s futures and the kind of country they will grow up in. Under the failed leadership of President Biden, our country is being pushed to the brink. Americans cannot afford life’s daily expenses, and for many the American Dream is getting further out of reach. Our debt will cripple our grandchildren. Our border is wide open and must be secured. Our energy supply is being willingly depleted. Crime is surging, our cities are being destroyed, and drugs are flowing into our communities from Biden’s open border. Every state is now a border state, with millions of unvetted illegal immigrants being shipped across the country, robbing social services meant for hard-working citizens. The rule of law is in doubt; the Justice Department is weaponized to target political enemies and shield allies. Our standing around the world is in question, and there is no accountability for the decisions that allowed 13 of our soldiers to be killed in the failed surrender of Afghanistan.

I firmly believe this Conference is a family. When I was shot in 2017, it was Members of this Conference who saved my life on that field. When I made it to the hospital and my family was told my chances of surviving were low, it was the prayers from all of you that carried us through. When I was in the hospital for nearly 15 weeks, it was the possibility of getting back to work with all of you that kept me motivated to get better. During that time, I was often asked why after nearly losing my life because of this job I would want to go back. But it was never a question for me: I love this country, and I believe we were sent here to come together and solve the immense challenges we face. As I face new challenges, I feel even more strongly about that today. I know the coming weeks ahead will be some of the most arduous times we will face together, but this Conference is worth fighting for – we cannot lose sight of our shared mission. Now, more than ever, we must mend the deep wounds that exist within our Conference and focus on our objectives so we can get back to work for the millions of people who are counting on us.

It is with that sense of responsibility and purpose that I am seeking the Conference’s nomination for Speaker of the House.

You know my leadership style I’ve displayed as your Majority Leader and Whip.

I have a proven track record of bringing together the diverse array of viewpoints within our Conference to build consensus where others thought it impossible.

When I ran to be your Majority Leader, I made a commitment to turn our conservative agenda into legislative action, facilitate a legislative process built on regular order and Member input so all Members and their constituents have a voice in the House of Representatives, and to hold the Biden Administration accountable.

We moved our top agenda items through the House based on those three commitments. We ran an efficient, collaborative, and successful process involving multiple committees of jurisdiction to pass H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, which would lower costs, lower inflation, and make America energy independent once again. When we ran into challenges on our border package, we pressed pause on that committee process to bring in dozens of Members, both on and off committee, to iron out our differences on border and immigration policy. The result of that work was H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, the most conservative border bill the House has ever passed. And we delivered on our commitment to ensure that parents have a say in their children’s education through the passage of H.R. 5, the Parents Bill of Rights.

While we have made tremendous progress so far this Congress and have demonstrated that we can unite against failing liberal policies, more work needs to be done. We have an extremely talented Conference, and we all need to come together and pull in the same direction to get the country back on the right track.

Now is not the time to slow down. We are conducting critical oversight of a corrupt administration. We are in the midst of considering individual appropriations bills in an open and transparent process, with Members from across the Conference offering amendments to ensure their constituents and districts are represented. We laid out an aggressive schedule to complete floor consideration of all 12 appropriations bills to go into Senate negotiations with the strongest hand possible, and we cannot afford to lose any more time achieving that goal.

Our strength as a Conference comes from our unity, and we have seen when we unite as a Conference, we can deliver wins for the American people. Now we need to take those unified positions and work to extract conservative wins from the Democrat Senate and White House by leveraging upcoming deadlines. While we need to be realistic about what can be achieved, if we stay united, we can preserve leverage for the House to secure tangible wins in our impending policy fights. The task before us is not without its challenges, but I believe in this Conference and our ability to come together and achieve great things.

God already gave me another chance at life. I believe we were all put here for a purpose. This next chapter won’t be easy, but I know what it takes to fight and I am prepared for the battles that lie ahead. I humbly ask you for your support on this mission to be your Speaker of the House.

God Bless,


This is a breaking update. Read the original story below.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The House of Representatives is entering uncharted territory after a far-right effort to remove fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy from the speakership succeeded thanks to support from Democrats.

A resolution — titled a motion to vacate — from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., passed Tuesday with the support of eight Republicans and all the Democrats present and voting. The vote made McCarthy the first speaker in history to be removed from office, a bitter humiliation that came after less than nine months on the job.

The California Republican told his conference shortly after that he would not run for the job again. It is a stunning outcome in the House that shocked lawmakers of both parties and left them wondering what the future will bring.

Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, now the acting speaker, declared the House in recess until both parties can decide on a path forward. There is no obvious successor to lead the House Republican majority now that McCarthy has opted not to run for the job again.


Immediately after the vote, McHenry, a close McCarthy ally, was named temporary speaker or speaker pro tempore. The North Carolina Republican was picked from a list that the speaker is required to keep of members who can serve in this position in the event a chair is vacated.

McCarthy turned over that private list to the House clerk in January when he was first elected speaker. And while McHenry can serve in the temporary role indefinitely, he does not have the full power of a duly elected speaker but only those that are deemed “necessary and appropriate” for the purpose of electing someone to the job, according to the rules governing the House.

McHenry will be unable to bring legislation to the floor or take it off. He also does not have the power to issue subpoenas or sign off on any other official House business that would require the approval of the speaker.


The first order of business for McHenry would be to elect a new speaker.

As of now, it is unclear who House Republicans will nominate for the speakership. Some members left the chamber Tuesday determined to renominate McCarthy and vote for him for speaker until it passes. But now that he is out of the running, the path is clear for any Republican to jump in.

Some members, including Gaetz, have been broaching potential consensus candidates like Majority Leader Steve Scalise or Whip Tom Emmer who they see as bringing the conference together. Other names up for discussion include Rep. Kevin Hern, chair of the Republican Study Committee, and Rep. Jim Jordan, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and a favorite of the right flank of the party.

Once Republicans decide who to nominate for speaker, the House would have to vote as many times as it takes for a candidate to receive the majority of those present and voting for speaker. It can quickly become an arduous exercise, as it did in January when it took McCarthy an unprecedented 15 rounds to win the gavel.


Once a speaker candidate has won a majority of the vote, the clerk will announce the results of the election.

During a normal speaker election, which takes place at the start of each Congress, a bipartisan committee, usually consisting of members from the home state of the chosen candidate, will then escort the speaker-elect to the chair on the dais where the oath of office is administered. The oath is identical to the one new members will take once a speaker is chosen.

It is unclear if that is the same process that will be followed in this instance. It is customary for the minority leader to join the successor at the speaker’s chair, where they will pass the gavel as a nod to the potential future working relationship between one party leader and another.

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