Less than 10 months removed from nearly losing his life after being shot during an early morning congressional softball practice, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) recovery has progressed further than doctors ever expected – and now members of the House GOP are quietly encouraging him to succeed Paul Ryan as Speaker.
“The rumor mill is that Paul Ryan is getting ready to resign in the next 30 to 60 days and that Steve Scalise will be the new speaker,” Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) said Monday. Indeed, Rep. Roger Williams recently introduced Scalise to donors as “the next speaker of the House.”
Furthermore, Scalise confirmed to Politico that he “wouldn’t rule it out”:
“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Scalise said of a bid for speaker if the circumstances were right. “Obviously, I’ve shown interest in the past at moving up. I’ve enjoyed being in leadership. I feel like I’ve had a strong influence on some of the things that we’ve done, and I’ve helped put together coalitions to pass a full repeal of Obamacare.”
Even so, Scalise cautioned that the rumors about Ryan’s exit are just that – rumors. For now, Scalise just wants to focus on what matters: passing President Donald Trump’s agenda and keeping the House in GOP hands.
“It’s easy to get drawn into the palace intrigue and speculation. But if you do that, you truly will lose focus on what your mission is, and that is working with President Trump to advance a conservative agenda,” Scalise said. “The stakes are way too high for us to lose sight of what we need to do right now.”
Since returning to Capitol Hill in September, Scalise has made it clear that he stands with Trump and the Republican Party as a whole. After undergoing a follow-up surgery in January, he began traveling again to attend fundraisers for fellow Republicans. How awesome would it be if he returned from death’s door to help secure Trump another four years in office?
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