House Majority Leader Steve Scalise has officially exited his race for Speaker of the House.
Scalise made his announcement to reporters Thursday evening after reports indicated the House Majority Leader would not have enough support from House Republicans to secure a 217-vote majority to secure a Speakership.
“I just shared with my colleagues that I’m withdrawing my name as candidate for Speaker designee,” Scalise said. “There’s still work to be done. Our conference still has to come together and is not there.”
The House Majority Leader said some House Republicans “have their own agendas.”
“We have to have everybody put their agendas on the side and focus on what this country needs,” he said. “This country is counting on us to come back together. This House of Representatives needs a Speaker of the House, 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,” Scalise said.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) announces he is withdrawing from the speaker race. pic.twitter.com/G9EbSSeGMx
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 13, 2023
Scalise said he didn’t enter Congress for a “title,” though he’s enjoyed his stint as Majority Leader.
The House Majority Leader also referenced the 2017 Congressional Baseball game shooting in Alexandria, Virginia in which six people were shot, including then-House Majority Whip Scalise.
“There are some folks that really need to look in the mirror over the next couple of days and decide, are we gonna get back on track or are they gonna try to pursue their own agenda?” Scalise said. “You can’t do both.”
Scalise did not endorse anyone for Speaker when asked.
In August, the House Majority Leader revealed he was diagnosed with a blood cancer known as multiple myeloma.
The House Majority Leader launched his bid for Speaker last week after California Representative Kevin McCarthy was removed from the office of Speaker of the House.
McCarthy is the first Speaker of the House to be removed from the seat in U.S. history.
Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, who opposed McCarthy’s removal, also launched his bid for Speaker after the former Speaker’s ousting.
Jordan appears to be the presumptive front runner for Speaker of the House, though several reports have indicated House Majority Whip Tom Emmer and Oklahoma Representative Kevin Hern may launch a bid for Speaker.
Several House Republicans, including Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Texas Representative Troy Nehls, have nominated former President Donald Trump for Speaker of the House.
Trump said he would accept a short-term stint as Speaker, though officially endorsed Jordan shortly after. Greene has also thrown support behind a Jordan Speakership.