Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana announced Thursday evening that he was withdrawing his bid to become the speaker of the House.
“I just shared with my colleagues that I’m withdrawing my name as a candidate for speaker designee,” said Scalise to reporters.
“If you look at over the last few weeks, if you look at where our conference is, there’s still work to be done. Our conference still has to come together, and is not there,” he continued.
“There’s still some people that have their own agendas, and I was very clear, we have to have everybody put their agendas on the side and focus on what this country needs,” Scalise added. “This country is counting on us to come back together. This House of Representatives needs a speaker, and we need to open up the House again, but clearly, not everybody is there, and there’s still schisms that need to be resolved.”
The speaker role had been vacant since Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) of Florida persuaded a handful of Republican members to vote against the former speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California after lambasting him for voting with Democrats on a budget compromise.
Former President Donald Trump added to the chaos when he said he would be willing to temporarily fill the speaker role in order to allow members of the party to mend their differences.
Democrats and others have criticized the rift in the Republican Party for crippling the parliamentary process at a time when Israel is under terror attack and Congress needs to address the nation’s foreign policy goals.
Scalise scolded some members of the party for not putting the country ahead of their own narrow interests.
“There are some folks that really need to look in the mirror over the next couple of days and decide are we gonna get it back on track, or are they gonna try to pursue their own agenda,” he said.
“You can’t do both, and I think we’re gonna get there,” Scalise added.
Here’s more about Scalise dropping out:
Scalise drops out of House speaker racewww.youtube.com
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