Several House Republicans were uncertain if they could elect a speaker quickly, given the sharp divide between supporters of speaker designee Steve Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan.
“It looks like Steve Scalise is our speaker designee. We could have a vote as early as 3 o’clock on the floor. And I hope we can unify as a party and put a speaker in the chair,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs committee.
“That’s what’s going to have to be worked out in the next several hours to get to a unity consensus. We can’t afford this dysfunction. The nation can’t afford this, the American people can’t afford it. We need a speaker in the chair. We’re in dangerous times right now, we’re in three major global conflicts, potentially, and we cannot afford to not have a speaker in the chair,” he added.
Rep. Matt Gaetz said he would support Scalise on the floor.
“I’m excited for him, can’t wait to go vote for Steve Scalise. Long live Speaker Scalise!” he told reporters. However, he and Rep. Tim Burchett would not say if they think they will have a new speaker today.
“I sure hope so, we’ll see some democracy in action,” said Gaetz, referring to the possibility of a long floor fight. Burchett also said he hopes they can solve this quickly.
He also told CNN’s Lauren Fox, “I think Steve will do a fine job.”
McCaul emphasized the importance of electing a new speaker quickly, especially after the conflict in Israel began this weekend.
“We have a lot of problems in the world right now. As you know with Hamas invasion of Israel, now Hezbollah is threatening, we’ve got problems in Ukraine, we’ve got problems in the Pacific with China. I say we unify as a party, get the speaker designee elected as the official speaker of the House – Steve Scalise,” he said.
He noted that Scalise had told him that his first act as speaker would be to bring a resolution on the conflict to the floor. “And the first bill, the speaker told me, will be my resolution condemning Hamas and praising, in support of Israel,” McCaul told reporters.