Thursday, February 2, 2023
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REPORT: Scalise Being Courted to Challenge McCarthy for Speakership

'Does he want to be speaker? Absolutely. But is he going to screw Kevin? Absolutely not...'

(Headline USA) Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the No. 2 Republican in the House, is privately being courted by a number of his colleagues to make a bid for the speakership as opposition to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., grows.

A group of Republican lawmakers approached Scalise this week, telling him to “just be ready” in case McCarthy’s bid for House speaker fails. Scalise has already endorsed McCarthy and vowed not to run against him, launching a bid for House majority leader instead.

“Does he want to be speaker? Absolutely. But is he going to screw Kevin? Absolutely not,” one person close to Scalise told Politico.

Scalise has not commented publicly on the matter, and has not been organizing or making calls related to a possible speakership bid, according to Politico.

However, House Republicans’ frustration with McCarthy only continues to increase, and those opposing his speakership bid have made it clear that they will not back him.

A number of Republicans have privately put their names forward as an alternative to McCarthy, according to Rep. Bob Good, R-Va.

“Some of those candidates have expressed interest to us—or that they would be interested once it’s clear Kevin McCarthy won’t be speaker,” Good said.

At least five GOP lawmakers have publicly vowed to derail McCarthy’s speakership bid, including Good, Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Ralph Norman of South Carolina and Matt Rosendale of Montana.

Biggs has launched his own challenge to McCarthy, but has also suggested he would be open to supporting someone else.

“I think we need to have a real discussion about whether he should be the speaker or not,” Biggs told reporters last month.

“I think that his statement recently that we shouldn’t impeach [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas indicates that maybe we’re not going to be as aggressive going forward as we should be,” Biggs added. “That’s—those are things that I think we should have a very frank discussion internally about, where we’re going to be going forward.”

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