Republican Steve Scalise has dropped out of race to become House speaker

Sen. Steve Scalise has ended his bid to become House speaker after he failed to secure the votes to win, The Associated Press reported.

>> Read more trending news

Scalise made the announcement at a conference meeting on Thursday evening, according to The Washington Post.

“I just shared with my colleagues that I’m withdrawing my name as a candidate for the speaker designee,” Scalise told reporters, according to CNN.

“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 said, according to CNN.

“There are 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. 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 have to get resolved.”

On Wednesday, Scalise narrowly edged out Rep. Jim Jordan during a conference vote. He was named the speaker-designate, but was seeing little progress in getting the 217 votes needed to secure the job, the Post reported.

The next steps to elect a House speaker are uncertain, according to the AP. The House is essentially closed as the Republican majority works to elect a speaker after Kevin McCarthy was removed from the job last week.

Scalise has served in House leadership since 2014, according to The New York Times. He was diagnosed with blood cancer last summer and is undergoing intense treatment, the newspaper reported.

It was unclear Thursday whether Scalise would leave his post as majority leader, according to the Times.

Comments on this article