Majority Leader Steve Scalise might salvage his bid for House Speaker due to an entrenched opposition inside his party that’s left the chamber paralyzed and without a path to move forward towards electing a speaker.
On Thursday, the Republicans had a closed door meeting for two hours, wherein Scalise confronted those who were opposing him in front of the conference. Post the meeting, leader of House Majority planned to huddle with those opposed to him in his office, along with the leaders of the various Republican conferences.
The opposition against Scalise grew only on Thursday, as about 20 Republicans publicly opposed. In order to claim the speakership position, he needs a majority of the House, which means he can afford to lose only 4 votes.
Several Republicans described the Thursday meeting as venting session and claimed that it wasn’t terribly productive. This deadlock is leading to intensifying frustration as the House GOP is nowhere close to coalescing around a speaker candidate. Many said that they believe no candidate will reach the threshold of 217 votes.
Quickly after he won the GOP nomination against his rival, Jim Jordan, by 113-99, Scalise’s math problem began as those who voted for Jordan immediately said that they won’t be voting for Scalise, and the number has only ballooned in the day since.