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Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise announces bid for top House role

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., wearing a blue suit and a red tie, walks through a doorway at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in June 2023, ahead of a news conference.
J. Scott Applewhite
AP file
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., joined at right by Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., arrives for a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in June 2023.

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who represents Louisiana's 1st Congressional District, announced Wednesday that he is seeking his colleagues' nomination to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.

In a letter to his colleagues posted to X — formerly Twitter — Scalise wrote in strong terms of uniting Republicans against what he called "failing liberal policies," committing to a conservative agenda and asked for support in his bid for the top House leadership role.

The announcement came a day after House members' historic vote to oust speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Scalise, 57, serves as the House Majority Leader, the number-two leader in the legislative body, elected by the House's Republican Conference. Since 2008, he has represented southeastern Louisiana's First Congressional District, which covers eight parishes, from Tangipahoa to Terrebonne and Plaquemines, and includes parts of the greater New Orleans area.

He returned last month to the Capitol after announcing he had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, in late August. He told reporters at the time that he was undergoing chemotherapy treatment, which he expected to last a few months.

Several other House colleagues have signaled their interest in running for Speaker — and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has announced that he is also pursuing the role.

The House is expected to try to elect a speaker as soon as next week, though the exact timing of a vote is uncertain, given the divisions within the Republican party that prompted McCarthy's ouster. The next Speaker will need to garner 218 votes from the 435 voting members of a deeply divided Congress.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Rep. Scalise speech during McCarthy ouster

Rep. Steve Scalise, a Republican who represents Louisiana's 1st Congressional District, speaks during the vote to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) as House Speaker on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023. Video courtesy of C-SPAN.

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