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Divisions within the GOP: Steve Scalise Nominated as Next House Speaker Amidst Growing Opposition

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In a stunning turn of events, Representative Steve Scalise has been nominated by the House GOP to be the next Speaker of the House. This comes after the ousting of Representative Kevin McCarthy, who became the first House speaker in United States history to be removed from office via a motion to vacate.[0]

The motion to remove McCarthy was raised by Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican aligned with the MAGA movement. McCarthy had worked with House Democrats to pass a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown, angering the more conservative members of the GOP.[1] This move highlights the growing divide within the Republican Party and raises concerns about their ability to govern.

Scalise's nomination as the next House speaker speaks volumes about the direction the GOP is heading in. He is seen as a staunch conservative and has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. However, Scalise's nomination is not without controversy. He has been tied to white supremacist groups in the past, attending a white supremacist conference in 2002.[2] Scalise has since distanced himself from these views and condemned them, but the association still lingers.

Despite the controversy surrounding Scalise, he won the private closed-door House GOP vote to become the Republican Party's nominee for speaker. However, with the slim majority that Republicans hold in the chamber, he can only afford to lose a few Republican votes on the floor. This raises concerns about the party's ability to govern effectively and convince voters that they deserve to stay in power in the upcoming elections.[3]

Scalise's hold on the speakership is made even more tenuous by the fact that his opposition is not unified.[4] Representative Jim Jordan, who has been endorsed by Trump, also launched a bid for the speakership. At least six GOP lawmakers have publicly stated that they will not vote for Scalise on the House floor, and several others have expressed support for Jordan.[5] Scalise can only afford to lose four GOP votes if he hopes to secure a majority.

The battle for the speakership is expected to be a grueling process, similar to the 15 rounds of voting that McCarthy endured before winning the post earlier this year.[2] The fractured Republican conference and the growing opposition to Scalise's nomination make it uncertain who will ultimately become the next Speaker of the House.

In the meantime, there are discussions among GOP lawmakers about potentially empowering House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry with temporary powers to keep the House operational while Republicans sort out their leadership drama.[6] This would allow them to avert a government shutdown and buy time to elect a new speaker.[7]

The nomination of Steve Scalise as the next House speaker by the GOP is a significant development in American politics. It highlights the divisions within the Republican Party and raises questions about their ability to govern effectively. As the battle for the speakership continues, it remains to be seen who will emerge as the leader of the House and how this will impact the future of the GOP.[8]

0. “Nancy Mace says she supports Jim Jordan for House speaker” CBS News, 8 Oct. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nancy-mace-jim-jordan-house-speaker-face-the-nation/

1. “Ohio Newspaper Publishes Scathing Rebuke of Jim Jordan: ‘No Worse Human'” Newsweek, 7 Oct. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/ohio-newspaper-publishes-scathing-rebuke-jim-jordan-no-worse-human-1832892

2. “What To Know About Steve Scalise—The GOP Nominee For House Speaker” Forbes, 11 Oct. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/anafaguy/2023/10/11/what-to-know-about-steve-scalise-the-gop-nominee-for-house-speaker/

3. “House speaker race latest: Scalise still short of 217 votes” NPR, 12 Oct. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/10/12/1205466751/race-for-speaker-of-the-house-slides-into-uncertainty-again

4. “Is the GOP Too Chaotic to Elect a Speaker?” The New Republic, 12 Oct. 2023, https://newrepublic.com/post/176187/can-republican-win-enough-votes-become-speaker

5. “House Republicans face day of uncertainty as speaker vote looms” ABC News, 11 Oct. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/house-republicans-face-day-uncertainty-speaker-vote-looms/story?id=103881628

6. “The Wheels Are Truly Falling Off Steve Scalise's Speakership Bid” The Daily Beast, 12 Oct. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-wheels-are-truly-falling-off-steve-scalises-speakership-bid

7. “The Hitchhiker's Guide to why Scalise's speaker math may never work and the push to resurrect McCarthy” Fox News, 12 Oct. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/hitchhikers-guide-why-scalises-speaker-math-may-never-work-push-resurrect-mccarthy

8. “Congressman Mooney endorses Jim Jordan to be the new House speaker; Miller isn't decided yet” West Virginia MetroNews, 5 Oct. 2023, https://wvmetronews.com/2023/10/05/congressman-mooney-endorses-jim-jordan-to-be-the-new-house-speaker-miller-isnt-decided-yet/

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