Just a day after officially announcing his bid for the speaker’s position in a letter to fellow Republicans, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise from Louisiana is leading the pack in early predictions for Tuesday’s crucial vote within the GOP conference. However, insiders suggest that although Scalise might secure the majority within the party, he might fall short of the 218 votes required to win the speakership on the House floor, where Democrats’ votes also come into play. This situation is exacerbated by Scalise’s health issues, including the toll taken by serious gun wounds from a past attack and a recent blood cancer diagnosis.
Among the contenders, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, favored by conservative activists, faces resistance from more moderate Republicans. His oversight of the Judiciary Committee, although headline-making, is deemed insufficient by some, including sources close to Donald Trump, who question his ability to counter President Biden effectively. On the other hand, Rep. Kevin Hern from Oklahoma, chair of the House Republican Study Committee, boasts strong conservative credentials and broad support from both the Freedom Caucus and establishment Republicans, making him a potential compromise candidate.
While Scalise currently stands as the front-runner, the race remains highly fluid. Scalise recently made a compelling presentation to the influential Texas Republican delegation, but opinions within the party are divided. Many lawmakers remain undecided, emphasizing the need for a speaker with robust business acumen to set clear goals and deadlines. With multiple strong candidates and no clear consensus, the race for the House speakership remains uncertain and open to further developments.