WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives is in uncharted territory after Kevin McCarthy was ousted as Speaker.
It was the first time ever that has happened in our history.
Now the focus is shifting to who could potentially fill the spot next.
House leadership says there is expected to be a candidate forum on Tuesday and a vote shortly after that.
Majority Leader Steve Scalise officially announced his intention to run for the position Wednesday afternoon.
In a letter to colleagues, Scalise wrote in part: “This next chapter won’t be easy, but I know what it takes to fight and I am prepared for the battles that lie ahead. I humbly ask you for your support on this mission to be your Speaker of the House.”
Scalise is receiving treatment for blood cancer but has continued to work.
Another contender is the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH).
“I think we are a conservative-center-right party,” said Jordan. “I’m the guy who can help unite that. My politics are entirely consistent with where Republicans are across the country.”
Democrats, meanwhile, say they want their House leader to take the job – Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
“I think we need Hakeem Jeffries as the Speaker,” said Rep. Patrick Ryan (D-NY). “I think five Republicans or more have to zoom out. Recognize the moment we’re at in history.”
But with a GOP-majority in the House, that’s not likely to happen.
In the meantime, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) is serving as the Acting Speaker.
Until the next Speaker wins, the House is essentially at a standstill because it can’t work on any legislation or other business.
This comes at a time when Congress is up against a Nov. 17 deadline to pass a budget to avoid a government shutdown.
Senate leadership addressed the historic ouster in the other chamber on the Senate floor Wednesday.
“What happened yesterday is a failure entirely of the House Republicans own doing,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “A disaster in the making.”
“Speaker McCarthy was a partner I could trust to be honest and candid,” said Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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