Updated Oct 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Steve Scalise wins internal vote to become GOP's speaker nominee

 (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) won the GOP nomination for speaker of the House on Wednesday, setting the stage for a floor vote that will require him to secure 217 votes.

Why it matters: Scalise defeated House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on a 113-99 vote after days of the candidates working to rally the conference's support following the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

  • Scalise — who was elected to the House in 2007 — previously served as the chair of the Republican Study Committee before being tapped for leadership in 2014.
  • Scalise previously sustained near-fatal injuries after being shot at a congressional baseball practice in in 2017.

Between the lines: Multiple Republicans left the vote on Wednesday saying they'll still vote for Jordan, setting up the prospect of Scalise failing to secure the speakership on a first ballot.

  • "I'm voting for Jordan," said Rep. Max Miller (R-Ohio.)
  • "I'm voting for Jim Jordan on the floor," said Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).
  • Scalise will need 217 Republicans to back him on the floor if every Democrat votes.

The intrigue: The race for the nomination was neck-and-neck leading up to the conference election, with both candidates struggling to rally the support needed.

  • Scalise prevailed despite some members voicing concerns about his recent cancer diagnosis and former President Trump endorsing Jordan.
  • Multiple GOP sources argued that the Trump endorsement may have helped solidify Scalise's support with moderates.
  • Scalise supporters noted his fundraising prowess and member services operation help him gain favor with members.

The big picture: The next speaker will be tasked with attempting to unify a highly-fractured conference with a slim majority, with one of their first challenges expected to be averting a government shutdown.

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