Today, the House Republican Conference voted to nominate Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) for Speaker of the House. Speaker-designate Scalise highlighted that, as Speaker, he would hold the Biden Administration accountable for its refusal to secure America’s southern border, which allowed for an unchecked flow of fentanyl and suspected terrorists to cross into the United States. Speaker-designate Scalise also highlighted his support for Israel and highlighted landmark legislation passed through the House to help families struggling under inflation, and called out Senate Democrats for failing to take action.
Speaker-designate Scalise’s remarks:
“I want to thank my House Republican colleagues for just designating me as the Speaker. Obviously we still have work to do. We’re going to have to go upstairs on the House Floor and resolve this, and get the House opened again. We have a lot of work to do — not just in the House for the people of this country — but we see how dangerous of a world it is, and how things can change so quickly. We need to make sure we’re sending a message to people, all throughout the world, that the House is open and doing the people’s business. Making sure that we’re unequivocally standing — in our first resolution that we pass under Speaker Steve Scalise — will be to make it clear that we stand with Israel. The McCaul-Meeks resolution will be our first order of business, but obviously there’s a lot more work to do.
“The conversations we’ve been having with my colleagues over the last few days leading up to this show that there’s a resolve that we need to get back to work. There’s a lot of business to take care of. Families are struggling across this country. We’ve passed a lot of legislation to help families get back on track, to address our border crisis, to get our economy moving again, to address the spending in Washington that’s driving inflation, high energy costs. All of those bills that we passed — and that we’re going to continue to pass — that are sitting over in the Senate need to be taken up. We’ve passed over 70 percent of the bills to fund the government dealing with appropriations and setting the priorities of this nation’s spending. And the Senate has taken up zero.
“The Senate has to start doing their work. And by the way, in that legislation — including the [State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs] bill, the defense appropriations bill — includes funding for Israel. Things like [the] Iron Dome, precision guided missiles, things that could be used today to help them in this war. So there is a lot to do.
“I’m also going to be calling on President Biden to sit down and talk about the crisis at the border. As we have an open southern border, and we’ve seen millions come in in the last few years, including people on the terrorist watch list from all over the world. If he doesn’t know now, after what happened, we cannot have an unsecure border. We’ve got to secure America’s border. We’ve passed legislation to do that. It’s time we sit down and have a conversation about how to secure America’s border. And it’s not a Republican or a Democrat issue. There are Democrat mayors all over the country who’ve been calling on the President to do this too. That’s a conversation we need to have today. There is a lot of busy work to do, a lot of important work to do on behalf of people who are struggling. Not only here in America, but who are concerned all around the world. We’re going to provide that vision. We have a lot of work to do.”
Today, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) appeared on Fox News’ Fox & Friends to highlight his candidacy for Speaker of the House of Representatives. Leader Scalise outlined how his record as Republican Whip and Majority Leader has given him critical experience in unifying Republicans to pass major legislative wins. Leader Scalise highlighted that his top priority as Speaker would be to secure America’s border, which the Biden Administration leaves undefended amidst historic surges of illegal border crossings, record-high gottaways, and fentanyl deaths in communities across the country. Leader Scalise also highlighted our support for Israel and how the Biden Administration’s open border policies allowed individuals on the terror watch list to enter into America.
On the southern border:
“Obviously the world’s an even more dangerous place today as we stand with Israel, our strongest ally, while they’re at war. We also recognize that our border is not secure, and it is a major, major threat to our country. This has been a problem for years, and we’ve been highlighting it. We’ve passed bills out of the House to secure America’s border, and [President] Biden’s been ignoring this problem for way, way too long. One of the things I’ve talked about, as Speaker Steve Scalise, I will be challenging President Biden day one to focus on securing the border with us. We’ve passed strong legislation to do just that. There’s not just Republicans — Democrat mayors all around the country recognize this problem. It’s not just a threat to our border states. Every single state is now a border state.
“People on the terrorist watch list have been identified already coming across the border that have been caught. Imagine the ones we haven’t caught on the terrorist watch list from very bad countries. This isn’t South and Central American countries we’re talking about. Over 150 countries around the world, including Iran and other countries in the Middle East, who have come across our southern border because [President] Biden opened it up. It has to be closed. We have to protect the people here in the United States. It is a dangerous world. President Biden’s made it more dangerous. We have to secure our border.”
On the Speaker race:
“Yeah, [Congressman McCarthy] said yesterday he’s not [running for Speaker of the House] in but we’ve been having a lot of conversations about how we get back to work. I mean, if you look behind us at this Capitol, the Congress cannot work right now without a Speaker, but the world is still moving, and it’s working, and it’s moving in a very bad direction. We’ve got to get the House back to work. There are real things that need to be done. Obviously, I’ve been talking to our allies in Israel. There are real things they need. You know, we’ve passed some legislation already — just in the last few weeks — to put in place the ability for Israel to have more defense systems that they could use today. Those things aren’t in place. There’s real work that needs to be done. Our members, I think, have a stronger resolve than ever to get back to work. I want that work to start today. Let’s go do this.”
On his support from Members for Speaker of the House:
“Our momentum has been growing. I feel like we have the votes to do it. And not only do it, [but] to do it today, to go upstairs on the House Floor, get 218 votes, and then get back to work for the people who elected us. There are a lot of things that need to be done. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. People all around the country count on us. People all around the world are counting on us as well. Let’s go get back to work. And let’s do it today.”
On uniting House Republicans:
“This is something I’ve done my whole career in Congress. I mean, I’m a passionate conservative, but [one who] knows how to put coalitions together, to do big things, to go fight for those families who are struggling. I put together very complicated coalitions to do major health care policy, energy policy, border security policy, [a] Parents Bill of Rights. All of those things are things that might look easy after they pass when we all come together. They’re all very complicated when you’re trying to put together everybody from the most moderate to the most conservative member within our conference, but then you look on the House Floor and say ‘Wow, they had a really big vote and everybody came together. How did that happen?’
“I’ve been doing that for years as the Whip, as the Leader, and I understand the differences between our members but we all have a lot of the same goals. Sometimes we get lost in the shuffle because, you know, everybody wants to go in their own camp. I really focus on how we bring groups together to focus on a mission of getting this country back on track.”
On whether the House will have a new Speaker this week:
“I am very confident we will. Yes.”
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined Fox News’ Fox & Friends to discuss his candidacy for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The full interview can be seen below.
On the Speaker’s race being a Member-driven process:
“We spoke obviously, a lot of friendships in this race. A lot of folks that have been talking to other folks on the outside to bring in to this race. There’s a lot of interest in this race but, at the end of the day, it’s a lot of one-on-one conversations over the last few days I’ve been having with my colleagues, and a lot of introspection about how we get things back on track. The problems that we have internally, they don’t go away with a new Speaker, but the real question the members have is: How do we get things back on track? And the reason I’ve been able to build such a strong base of support over these last few days — that’s been growing — is that I’ve got a long, proven record [as] somebody who knows how to unify Republicans to fight on the battles that matter for the families who gave us this majority. They want us to be fighting over border security, getting spending [under] control that’s driving inflation, the things that we came here to do are what we’ve got to get back on track doing. And [those are] the conversations we’ve been having these last few days, and we’re going to continue having. We’ve got to get this resolved soon. That’s going to get resolved Wednesday in our conference, but then we got to go back fighting for those families who are struggling, because that’s what the real fight is about.”
On uniting House GOP members:
“You know, there’s a lot — there was anger. There was a lot of frustration. There still is, and we’ve got to work through that but Steve, we started this year knowing, with a small majority, everything we did was going to be a challenge. Speaker McCarthy came in, laid out some real rules changes that have been working, but we’ve got to get back together [and] work through some of these problems that are going to still be there. You know, I’ve got relationships with everybody in our conference and have worked through it in a lot of different roles. And I have built coalitions to do big things, small things. We passed an energy bill. People I know want to focus on the internal fights. Look at the big things we have done that we’ve got to keep fighting for. We passed a major energy security bill, we passed a major border security bill, a Parent’s Bill of Rights, sitting in the Senate doing nothing because the Senate doesn’t want to address this.
“Day one, Speaker Steve Scalise, you will see challenge President Biden to sit down and start talking about the crisis at the border that everybody in America knows is a major, major problem that he doesn’t want to solve, or the Senate doesn’t want to solve. But you know what? Democrat mayors are now talking about this problem. We need to go and start fixing it, not just talk about it.
“We passed bills through the House.The Senate doesn’t want to confront it. We passed bills to address government funding — over 70 percent — and we’ve got to keep doing that work in the House. But you know what? The Senate needs to do their work too. As much as everybody wants to talk about the House, they talk about what the Senate and the President are not doing because those problems need to be addressed by all of us. So we’re going to come together as a House. They’re scared to death, by the way, of us coming to the House under my guidance [as] Speaker to go and get in this fight again because — once we’re back in this fight — the country is already there. They’re ready to solve these problems. They’re the ones struggling every day that we need to go back fighting for, but the President’s got to be in this fight too. And so does the Senate and that’s where we need to go and start battling.”
On supporting Republicans:
“Well, there’s a lot of things you have to do as Speaker to talk. Number one: Hold the majority, but to continue to go win more seats. I mean, we need to go be battling all across this country. We’ve got members in really tough districts that even [President] Biden won that we need to hold, but then grow in districts that we didn’t win last year that we can win next year. And it takes a lot of money to do that too, but it also takes a strong message. It takes the ability to go out and fight and let people know what the fight is about. That we’re fighting for those families who are struggling, who sent us here to battle for them.
“We’ve got to get our internal house back in order. We’re going to do that. We’re going to do that Wednesday, but then we’ve got to go back and let people know the fight in the Senate and in the White House. They don’t want to engage in this fight and we’re going to force them to. We have to get that border under control against spending under control to lower costs for families. Those problems don’t go away. And we’re going to be in that fight and I’m going to lead that fight as the next Speaker.”
On his health:
“Thank God they caught it early. I have a great team of doctors — the best in the world — and you know, they were able to put me on some drugs really quickly. I mean, it’s a blood cancer. There’s other forms of cancer too, but there were really good treatments available and we got them quickly, aggressively. And then my doctors weeks ago, looked and said, ‘It’s going phenomenally well. You’re ready to go back to work and get the fight.’ You know, if the doctors didn’t sign off, I wouldn’t be doing this. The doctors are happy, my wife is happy with me. They said, ‘You’re ready to go back in the fight.’ Look, I’ve been through tougher fights. You saw me when I was in the hospital. I just, you know, almost didn’t make it through in 2017 after the shooting, and by the way, President Trump was right there. Lifted my family up at the lowest times. People don’t even see that side of him, how wonderful it was, at my lowest moments in 2017. They didn’t know if I would make it through those days. I did. I’m a fighter. Look, I’ve been proving through a lot of battles.
“God’s given me a lot of strength. I’ve asked God for a lot. He’s delivered. But there [are] families that are struggling every single day. We’re going to lose 150 more young people today from opioids because of the open southern border. The President doesn’t want to confront that challenge. We as House Republicans do. Again, we’ve passed bills to do it. The action needs to happen in the White House in the Senate. We need to continue fighting in the House to go and fight for the things that we’ve passed through the House already, and keep passing more bills, but put more pressure in the places where it’s not. But we’ve got to come together first.
“I get that, we’re working through that [over] the last few days, the days ahead. I’m going to continue having those conversations. The conversations are going well. We’ve got to come together though, and then the other folks in Washington need to confront the same problems we’re confronting. And go, not talk about them, [but] go to them with us. We’re going to lay out a plan. We’re going to be very aggressive. That’s why I’m running for Speaker and that’s why I’m getting wide support throughout every element of our conference, but we got a lot of work to do.
“I’m ready to do this job. I’ve got the background to do this job. But you know, there’s a lot of people struggling in this country that are counting on us. We got to go back to work for them. And that’s where our members have been and these conversations I’ve had with them.”