Multiple House Republicans would not commit Wednesday to voting for Steve Scalise for speaker on the floor.
The Louisiana congressman won a 113-99 vote over Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to be the GOP Conference’s speaker nominee. But he’s still short of the votes needed to win the speaker’s gavel ahead of what could become a protracted floor battle.
More than a half-dozen Republicans said Wednesday they would vote for Jordan on the floor, while several others said they remained undecided on how they would vote, prompting Scalise to delay any floor action on the speakership.
Reps. Max Miller of Ohio, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado all said they would vote for Jordan on the floor.
“I’m not supporting Steve Scalise, I’ll be voting for Jim Jordan,” Greene told CNN. “Well, Jim Jordan presented a strong plan for a us, a detailed plan on how to move forward. We didn’t hear that plan from Steve Scalise. It was more vague answers.”
Greene added: “Unfortunately, Steve is going through a cancer battle of his own and I like Steve a lot, and I like him so much I would like to see him put his full efforts into defeating that.”
Scalise would need 217 votes to win the speaker’s gavel in a floor vote if all members are present and voting, meaning he can only lose four GOP votes.
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie tweeted shortly after the conference vote that he had told Scalise in person that “he doesn’t have my vote on the floor, because he has not articulated a viable plan for avoiding an omnibus.”
Meanwhile, Florida Rep. Carlos Gimenez, an ally of ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, said he would vote for the California Republican on the floor, as he did in conference.
Several of Jordan’s allies declined to say whether they would support Scalise on the floor.
Virginia Rep. Bob Good, one of eight GOP lawmakers who voted oust McCarthy, said he was undecided, as was Texas Rep. Troy Nehls.
Meanwhile, New York Rep. Mike Lawler told CNN that he had not made a final decision about his vote on the floor, while cautioning against a quick vote.
“I think it is foolish to rush this to the floor unless you know you have 217 votes, and I think that is a challenge at the moment,” Lawler said.
Some of the eight Republicans who voted against McCarthy are now backing Scalise on the floor, including Reps. Matt Rosendale of Montana and Matt Gaetz of Florida.
“I’m excited for him. I can’t wait to go vote for Steve Scalise. Love live Speaker Scalise,” said Gaetz, who had supported Jordan’s bid.