Steve Scalise pressed about whether he plans to run for House speaker

Steve Scalise
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks with a reporter as he leaves the chamber while the lawmakers finalize a massive $1.7 trillion government funding bill that finances federal agencies and provides aid to Ukraine, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022. Scalise is set to become the House majority leader when Republicans take control in the new Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Steve Scalise pressed about whether he plans to run for House speaker

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Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade pressed Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) on whether he planned to run for House speaker over Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

In an appearance on Fox and Friends, Scalise was confronted by Kilmeade, who pressed him on the question of whether he would run for speaker. The Fox host pointed out the number of House Republicans who have pledged not to vote for McCarthy, effectively rendering his run dead in the water.

“Congressman, it looks like Kevin McCarthy is stuck,” Kilmeade said. “He does not have the votes. Matt Gaetz wrote a column the other day, says, ‘I am never voting for him. He stands for nothing.’ Have you been approached about being the next speaker if McCarthy can’t get it done? And what do you say to those people that don’t want to vote for him, who are in your party?”

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In response, Scalise came to McCarthy’s defense.

“I support Kevin,” the Republican from Louisiana replied. “There are a lot of conversations going on, and Kevin is working on getting there. He is going to get there, and that’s just been an ongoing conversation this week. We have had a number of additional meetings with leadership and rank-and-file members going through rules changes.”

Kilmeade asked Scalise if anyone showed signs of “budging” on their decision not to support McCarthy’s bid to become speaker, such as Rep. Andy Biggs or Rep. Matt Gaetz.

“As you know better than anybody else, nothing can get done,” the TV host said. “You can’t format chairmanship. You can’t set up an agenda without a speaker.”

“We have got first elect a speaker and then get to work,” Scalise replied. “So, Kevin is meeting with all of those members that you mentioned. We’re meeting with a lot of them as a leadership team to go through rules changes, and Kevin is meeting with them individually as well.”

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McCarthy’s run for speaker has led to friction among Republicans, most notably between Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO).

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