House chaos stretches on after Scalise’s stunning withdrawal as speaker candidate. What’s next?

The House continues to stand still as Republicans scramble to elect a new speaker.  House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., spent days struggling to increase his support among Republicans after winning the initial GOP nomination — but ultimately bowed out of the race late Thursday. The House GOP is expected to meet around 10 a.m. Friday to discuss conference rules, where some in the conference said they hoped to be able to work toward a consensus for the next speaker candidate.  WHO COULD BE REPUBLICANS’ NEXT SPEAKER CANDIDATE AFTER SCALISE BOWED OUT? But it’s unclear how long it will take. One Republican, freshman Rep. Max Miller of Ohio, indicated that he thought it might stretch into the weekend.  “I am incredibly hopeful that we’re going to find somebody very soon with 217 by the end of this weekend,” Miller told reporters Thursday night. The Republicans met on Thursday behind closed doors to continue discussions and negotiations as several holdout party members say they are not behind Scalise. Negotiations continued late Thursday after the House held a bipartisan prayer vigil for the victims of Hamas’ surprise terror attack and assault on Israel. During the second conference meeting, Scalise told his colleagues that he would withdraw himself from the speaker race. THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO WHY SCALISE’S SPEAKER MATH MAY NEVER WORK AND THE PUSH TO RESURRECT MCCARTHY The next likely speaker nominee could be House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who was Scalise’s rival in the speaker race. GOP lawmakers have begun to weigh in on their support for Jordan, with some backing the Ohio congressman — but even he might have trouble getting to 217 votes among Republicans. Jordan needs 217 votes to become House speaker, but with the conference rapidly dividing on his potential candidacy he will need to shore up support to meet that number. “We need to elect a speaker,” Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., said Thursday night. “I supported Steve Scalise Scalise, but if Jim Jordan wants to try to get the 217 I’m going to support him. Because we need to get this process completed and start doing the business of the American people again.” Jordan, however, did not comment when asked Thursday night whether he would run for speaker again. “Any type of announcement about what may or may not happen I think is best done tomorrow,” he said. Some in the GOP caucus have pushed to meet until a the speaker issue is settled. Tennessee GOP Rep. Andy Ogles sent around a dear colleague letter Thursday afternoon calling for Republicans to “lock the door” at the conference meeting and keep going until a speaker is picked — even if it means sacrificing the weekend. With no clear speaker nominee in sight for the House GOP, it is unclear when the House would actually hold a vote to determine the new speaker. “We don’t have a Paul Ryan,” said one senior House Republican, referring to former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who salvaged Republicans after former House Speaker John Boehner resigned unexpectedly in 2015. Fox News Digital’s Chad Pergram and Elizabeth Elkind contributed reporting.
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