Scripps News has confirmed that Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise has now withdrawn his nomination for House speakership.
The sudden blow to the GOP's urgent search for a House speaker nominee extends lawmakers' work by what could be days, to find their choice to go up against the Democrat's pick, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, in a vote for the spot previously occupied by ousted former speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California.
House Republicans had nominated Rep. Scalise,the House Majority Leader, as their next candidate to become speaker of the House, after removing Rep. McCarthy from the position in a dramatic display on the House floor days ago.
In a secret ballot at the Capitol, House Republicans chose Scalise as their nominee for speaker, with 113 votes to Jim Jordan's 99, while eight members voted for other candidates, and three voted present.
Scalise went on to face Minority Leader Jeffries, a Democrat from New York, and the Democratic speaker nominee selected this week, on the House floor.
The timing of the full House speaker vote has remained uncertain, and will now likely be extended for longer now that Rep. Scalise has decided to step out of the race.
Rep. McCarthy left the offices for the speaker on Wednesday at around 5 p.m. ET and told reporters that he didn't think we would be likely to see a vote by midweek, possibly signaling a stall in talks before Thursday.
When Republicans are able to finally cast their votes for the speaker on the House floor, they will require at least 217 votes to secure their pick as speaker. However, even when Rep. Scalise was the nominee for the party, a number of Republicans told Scripps News that they would continue to support Jordan, who faced Scalise in the internal party vote but lost. That could complicate the next nominee's path to the speakership.
"The House GOP Conference is broken. So we oust Kevin McCarthy and all other leaders are rewarded with promotions? How does that make sense or change anything? We need to chart a different path forward. In the meantime, I plan to vote for Jim Jordan on the floor," Rep. Lloyd Smucker said.
Scalise assumed office in Congress in 2008 following his tenure in the Louisiana State Legislature from 1996 to 2008.
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