It appears that winning the majority of votes for speaker within the Republican conference by a margin of 113-99 and then being endorsed by his rival Jim Jordan was not enough for Steve Scalise to get 217 votes (from the total of 221 Republicans) to enable him to become speaker. There were enough hard ‘no’s to force him to withdraw his name from further consideration. The House adjourned last evening and it is not clear when it will meet again to try and get this essential piece of business done.
Here are some of the people who are opposed to Scalise.
CLINE is for JORDAN pic.twitter.com/mVW4dEDRYO
— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotcnn) October 12, 2023
Notice that fabulist George Santos is listed under the Scalise opponents who is also ‘big mad’ and would not vote for Scalise. What is he mad about?
Rep. George Santos threw a temper tantrum and vowed not to support Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise for speaker of the House because the fellow Republican failed to call and ask for his support.
With two criminal cases filed and an expulsion effort looming, Santos opted to go on the offensive by warning he won’t back Scalise unless the GOP nominee for speaker kisses his ring.
The embattled Long Island Republican said he was irked that Scalise did not make a personal pitch for his support in the speaker fight and hasn’t reached out at all since he took office.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that my VOTE doesn’t matter to him,” Santos said late Wednesday.
“I’m now declaring I’m an ANYONE but Scalise, and come hell or high water I won’t change my mind,” Santos added.
Unlike other Republican holdouts, Santos didn’t make any political or policy demands.
I think that Santos was hoping to make a deal with Scalise, that he would vote for him if Scalise would protect him from moves to expel him from Congress. A handful of Republican congresspersons from New York have vowed to introduce a resolution to expel Santos once the House gets back to business. That requires, of course, for a speaker to be elected and so it is in Santos’s interest to make sure that does not happen.
Jim Jordan is now considering re-entering the race. Kevin McCarthy might even be re-nominated by his die-hard supporters who are still livid over his ouster. And, God help us, some people are once again floating the idea of nominating serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) for the position.When SSAT’s name was floated earlier, he initially seemed receptive but then changed his mind. It is suggested that that reversal may be because he learned that while the vote would be by secret ballot, the results would be public, and he feared that he would be humiliated if he not only lost but got just a handful of votes.
This is the kind of situation where one hopes that at some point, people realize that they have to put aside their petty grievances and get behind some person whom they trust at least somewhat to lead them. The problem is that petty grievances are precisely what drives some of these people. You can hope to negotiate over policy differences. It is hard to negotiate with someone whose main position is “I hate you! I hate you! And I want to bring the whole system crashing down!”