Scalise dropped out of the speaker race on Thursday night after failing to garner enough support in the House GOP conference to be elected in a House floor vote despite winning the conference’s nomination on Wednesday. With Scalise’s announcement, several House Republicans will likely join the race to replace former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
“Our conference still has to come together, and it’s not there. There are still some people that have their own agendas. And it was very clear we have to have everybody put their agendas on the side and focus on what this country needs,” Scalise said following the conference meeting. “I withdraw my name.”
His withdrawal comes after Republicans held a roughly 2 1/2 hour conference meeting earlier on Wednesday, which did little to convince holdout members of the conference to support the Louisiana Republican for the speakership.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) called on House Republicans to unify behind Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who narrowly lost to Scalise in a conference vote on Wednesday, believing the Ohio Republican can garner 217 votes on the House floor.
Scalise’s decision to drop out of the speaker’s race comes more than a week after McCarthy was ousted from the speakership in a historic 216-210 vote, which saw eight Republicans join Democrats to remove the California Republican.