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War & Scalise

Steve Scalise and his allies had been making the case across the Hill that he would be a less volatile, more cooperative leader than his main rival for the gavel.
Steve Scalise and his allies had been making the case across the Hill that he would be a less volatile, more cooperative leader than his main rival for the gavel. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
Tina Nguyen
October 11, 2023

Does Steve Scalise have the votes? That was the question on Wednesday afternoon after the Louisiana congressman, and McCarthy’s longtime No. 2, whipped 113 members to secure the House G.O.P. nomination for the vacant speakership. Scalise and his allies had been making the case across the Hill that he would be a less volatile, more cooperative leader than his main rival for the gavel, Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan. Scalise, after all, has the perfect paper resume for the job: years in leadership at the side of Boehner and Ryan and McCarthy (the two have an icy relationship—another mark in his favor), plus the K Street connections, some conservative street cred, and deep knowledge of Congress’s arcane rules.