Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) sat by silently after Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) won the first nomination for House Speaker.
Scalise has now withdrawn his name, and McCarthy is finally stepping up.
The first vote occurred last week, but the winner did not last very long.
Rep. Scalise won 113-99, but he could not get any of Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) supporters to budge, so he withdrew his name from consideration.
The GOP caucus then returned to square one, voting again, with Jim Jordan coming away as the new nominee.
After he was chosen, however, there was still some dissension in the ranks, so the House broke for the weekend to try to iron things out so they could elect a new Speaker this week.
I stated last week how disappointing it was that McCarthy never spoke up on Scalise’s behalf to get his contingent behind him. Even though he was ousted as Speaker, McCarthy still had much influence over the members.
His not speaking up on behalf of Scalise, who is one of his allies in the House, spoke volumes.
When McCarthy had been asked about Scalise being confirmed, this was his response…
McCarthy casting some real doubt about Scalise’s ability to get to 216.. and raises questions about his whip operation.
“It’s possible but it’s a big hill. He (Scalise) told a lot of people he was going to be at 150 and he wasn’t there so..” pic.twitter.com/MwTiLWUjmV
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) October 12, 2023
McCarthy is not taking the same approach with Jordan.
“I think Jim Jordan can get there. I’m one who understands how difficult it is. I did walk in with more support during this time, but I believe at the end of the day, Jim can get there.
“I’m doing everything I can to help him be able to become speaker.”
The GOP should not make the same mistake it did in January when it took multiple votes for McCarthy to win the gavel.
Jordan had confirmed this earlier, stating:
“We shouldn’t go to the House floor until we have 218 votes for the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
“We shouldn’t have to go through what we did back in January.”
I think that is the right move, but it is also embarrassing that it is taking this long to get a Speaker passed through with the majority. Let's just hope that Jordan holds true to his word and does not take a posturing position to call out those who are not supporting him for the sake of getting them on the record simply to call them out publicly.
Democrats have pounced on all of this, with Minority Leader Jeffries (D-N.Y.) out there telling people every day that extremists have taken over the GOP House and are ruining the government, yet nobody is holding him accountable for his role in all of this.
Let’s not forget that there was a contingent of Democrats from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus that were going to vote for McCarthy to defeat the Gaetz motion, but they changed their mind after Jeffries met with the entire Democrat caucus.
Jeffries wanted this chaos and ensured it happened by telling his entire caucus to vote with Gaetz and oust Speaker McCarthy.
I am truly hopeful that the GOP can get its act together this week and vote in a new Speaker without any drama.