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Steve Scalise’s bid for US House speaker abruptly halted, dashing hopes for leadership position.

Republican Steve Scalise Drops Out of Speaker Race as Hard-Right Members Revolt

Republican Steve Scalise’s bid to become the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has come to an abrupt end. Hard-right members of his party revolted against him, following the trend of removing the last three speakers from their positions. Scalise, who survived a 2017 shooting, faced opposition from within his party and ultimately decided to drop out of the race.

A Speaker’s Dream Shattered

Steve Scalise, a native of New Orleans, had overcome numerous challenges in his political career, including a life-threatening shooting incident. However, his dream of becoming the House speaker collapsed without even a vote. Despite winning the nomination from House Republicans, Scalise faced strong opposition from hard-right members within his party, ultimately leading to his withdrawal from the race.

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Party Divisions and Disappointment

The Republican Party currently holds a narrow 221-212 majority in the House, but internal divisions have hindered their ability to rally behind a unified candidate for the speakership. Representative Mark Alford expressed his disappointment, stating, “We’re a ship that doesn’t have a rudder right now.” The removal of the previous three speakers due to pressure from the hard-right faction has left the party in disarray.

A Resilient Survivor

Steve Scalise, aged 58, has proven his resilience throughout his political career. In 2017, he was severely wounded in a shooting targeting Republican lawmakers. However, Scalise’s determination led him to return to work after recovering from his injuries. Despite his experience, Scalise faced opposition from hardliners within his party, including supporters of rival Jim Jordan.

A Record of Accomplishments

Scalise was first elected to Congress in 2008, representing a district in Louisiana. Throughout his tenure, he played a key role in bipartisan efforts, such as legislation to allocate fines from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for coastal restoration in his state. In addition, Scalise was instrumental in passing a tax overhaul plan and a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico under the Trump administration. He was elected majority leader in 2022.

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Nearly Tragedy and Unwavering Convictions

In 2017, Scalise survived a near-fatal attack when a gunman targeted Republican lawmakers during a practice for a charity baseball game. Despite this experience, Scalise remained steadfast in his support for gun rights, stating that the incident “fortified” his beliefs. However, he faced criticism for speaking to a group founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in 2002. Scalise later expressed regret, claiming he was unaware of the group’s ideology.

A Future of Uncertainty

With Scalise’s withdrawal, House Republicans are left with the challenge of selecting a new speaker. This decision comes at a critical time, as Congress must pass spending bills to keep the government running. Additionally, Republicans have initiated an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. The outcome of this process remains uncertain as Republicans hold the majority in the House, while Democrats control the Senate and the White House.

As the race for speaker continues, the Republican Party faces internal divisions and the need to find a cohesive path forward. The outcome of this process will shape the party’s future and have significant implications for the functioning of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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