Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan enter race for House Speaker

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Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Speaker McCarthy ousted in historic House vote
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Speaker McCarthy ousted in historic House vote, as scramble begins for a Republican leader

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have officially entered the race to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

Scalise, The Louisiana Republican, in a lengthy letter to his colleagues on Wednesday, made a pitch for unity as he touted his work as the No. 2 House Republican.

"You know my leadership style I've displayed as your Majority Leader and Whip," he wrote. "I have a proven track record of bringing together the diverse array of viewpoints within our Conference to build consensus where others thought it impossible."

FILE - Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, right, and have entered the race to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Jordan told reporters Wednesday morning that he is running for speaker of the House -- the first member to publicly throw their hat in the ring.

Jordan, a top Trump ally and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has ruled out running for speaker in the past.

Jordan said Wednesday morning that the messages and phone calls of support he has received so far "seems strong."

"I think the key is to unite the conference," Jordan said. "I think I can."

In addition to Jordan, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise has begun making calls to gauge support as has Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern.

President Joe Biden weighed in for the first time on the ouster of McCarthy, calling on Congress to change the "poisonous atmosphere in Washington" and come together.

"More than anything we need to change the poisonous atmosphere in Washington. You know, we have strong disagreements, but we need to stop seeing each other as enemies. We need to talk to one another, listen to one another, work with one another. And we can do that," Biden urged while delivering remarks on student loans at the White House.

Biden said the GOP will need to "reorganize" and that it might "take some time" to select a new leader.