Tensions have run high on Capitol Hill over the course of nine days, and the Republican nominee has nowhere near enough support to become speaker.
“Dysfunctional, disorganized and broken,” is how Texas Rep. Troy Nehls, who wants to make Donald Trump speaker of the House of Representatives, described his party after leaving a Republican meeting in the House of Representatives.
Steve Scalise, the second-ranking Republican in the House, secured his party’s nomination, but some of his colleagues still opposed him.
“I don’t believe the Lord Jesus could reach 217!” He recalled one member saying in the meeting.
“We’re not moving forward,” said Rep. Jen Kiggans, R-Va., who admitted she’s worried about how the disorder will affect her swing district race in 2024.
“We have a war in Israel…It’s really frustrating.”
Scalise and Donald Trump’s ally Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, faced off in an internal House Republican vote in which Scalise won 113-99.
Now he has to win a vote in the House of Representatives – where Republicans only have a four-vote majority. But more than a dozen Republicans have said they will not vote for Scalise.
“If you oppose him, you have to find detailed, objective reasons,” said Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.
Some have denounced that Scalise represents the “Washington establishment” – others have pointed out that his health is a concern as the Louisiana Republican battles blood cancer.
Representative Nancy Mace, one of the Republicans who opposed him, said on CNN: “Personally, I cannot in good conscience vote for someone who attended a white supremacist conference and compared himself to David Duke.”
Scalise spoke at a 2002 conference of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and white supremacist David Duke’s group, but later claimed not to know what they stood for and said he regretted it.
Early in his political career, Scalise also told a Louisiana reporter that he was “like David Duke without the baggage.”
The list of Republicans who say they will reject Majority Leader Steve Scalise, the No. 2 Republican in the House, for the job has grown longer, not shorter, since his election in the conference
Meanwhile, Democrats met and in less than 10 minutes chose Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries as their candidate for speaker. All Democrats are expected to vote for him locally.
House Republicans met again Thursday to try to find a path forward. It is not clear when a vote on speaker will take place in the House.
Scalise, who is considered more conservative than McCarthy but is still part of the current leadership, has fielded at least a dozen critics, many from the right-wing Freedom Caucus, who have said they will continue to vote for Jordan.
Jordan took his name out of the race and said he would ask his supporters to vote for Scalise instead. However, according to half a dozen of them who spoke to DailyMail.com, Jordan apparently did not ask his supporters to resign and not vote for him.
With the House paralyzed, Congress is heading toward another government shutdown crisis on November 17, unable to pass any legislation as war breaks out in Israel.
Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, faced off in an internal House Republican vote that elected Scalise as the Republican nominee for speaker by a vote of 113 to 99
In just over a month, the House Continuing Resolution (CR), which extended the government funding deadline by six weeks, is set to expire.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., had filed a motion to remove McCarthy because he didn’t want a CR to pass Congress — but wanted the House to work through 12 separate spending bills on a single issue.
But now that the House has wasted weeks ousting its speaker and arguing over who should take the job next, it is nearly impossible for the remaining spending bills to pass before the deadline.
The House also cannot pass a bipartisan $2 billion aid package for Israel — even though Israel already receives $3.3 billion in military funding and $500 million in missile defense funding from the United States each year.
Around 1,200 people were killed in the Hamas attacks on Israel, and around 1,100 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli counterattack. So far, 25 Americans have died in the violence.