Steve Scalise drops out of US Speaker race

Home*Cover Story*International

Steve Scalise drops out of US Speaker race

Republican Congressman Steve Scalise has dropped out of the race to become Speaker of the House just a day after his party nominated him.

Mr Scalise, 58, had struggled to gain enough votes to secure an overall majority in the chamber.

The announcement came after a last-minute meeting of Republicans in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

It is unclear who the party will now nominate for the position.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Mr Scalise said that “we have to have everybody put their agendas on the side and focus on what this country needs”.

“This House of Representatives needs a Speaker 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,” he was quoted as saying by The Hill newspaper.

Despite winning over right-wing rival Jim Jordan in a secret ballot on Wednesday, Mr Scalise faced growing dissention from rank-and-file Republicans.

Efforts to sway them enough to gain the 217 votes he needed to secure a win as Speaker were unsuccessful on Thursday.