Update: Republican House Majority Leader Steve Scalise has officially announced he’s running to be the next House speaker.
Republican House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern of Oklahoma are privately gauging support for potential speakership bids after Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s ousting Tuesday, a person familiar with their actions told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The House voted to remove McCarthy from his leadership position after Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz filed a motion to vacate the speaker following last week’s spending fight that resulted in a 47-day continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown.
Scalise and Hern have been floated as possible replacements for McCarthy, including by Gaetz, and the two top House Republicans are meeting with Texas’ congressional delegation Wednesday to gauge support, according to the person familiar.
A spokesperson for Hern confirmed the meeting to the Daily Caller News Foundation. Scalise did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Texas’ congressional delegation is comprised of 25 members, which could be a key voting bloc during the speakership election. GOP Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas already threw his support behind Scalise in a tweet Tuesday evening, just hours after McCarthy was removed.
For a time such as this…Steve is the right man to lead our country ?? pic.twitter.com/5hOQmTdBrC
— Tony Gonzales (@TonyGonzales4TX) October 4, 2023
The House GOP will hold a candidate forum next Tuesday ahead of the speaker election on Wednesday, according to multiple reports. Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina was named speaker pro tempore, and McCarthy announced he won’t run for the position again.
Eight Republicans joined with 208 Democrats to remove McCarthy, including Gaetz, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Ken Buck of Colorado, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Eli Crane of Arizona, Tim Burchett of Tennessee, and Bob Good of Virginia, according to the House Clerk.
Several McCarthy allies who voted against the motion to vacate slammed Gaetz and the other conservatives for the move, criticizing them of ousting the speaker for personal reasons, with some hinting at expelling the Florida congressman.
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