A Fox News debate between House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is off.
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is also considering a bid for the gavel. But he posted on X, formerly Twitter, that he would not do a Fox News speaker race forum.
“I still haven’t made a decision on my candidacy for speaker, but I know one thing for sure. I will not be participating in the televised debate. We need to make this decision as a conference, not on TV. The Republican conference needs a family discussion,” he wrote.
Earlier today, Fox News announced that anchor Bret Baier would moderate a debate between the GOP candidates for House speaker.
The forum had been set to be held on Capitol Hill on Oct. 9, and include a discussion about “the issues facing Congress and the Republican party going forward.”
There will be a candidate symposium on Oct. 10. The following day, the GOP will nominate a speaker. It is uncertain when the House floor vote for speaker will take place.
After the motion to vacate the chair passed 216–210 on Oct. 3, with eight Republicans joining 208 Democrats voting in favor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced that he wouldn’t run for speaker again and said he is undecided about whether he will remain in Congress. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) has been appointed as speaker pro tempore until a replacement is voted in.
Mr. Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told reporters on Oct. 4 that he would fight for the gavel.
The former wrestling coach, who has been in Congress since 2007, was nominated during the speaker’s race in January but wasn’t interested in taking the position that is next in line to the presidency after the vice president. He supported Mr. McCarthy’s bid.
Mr. Jordan wrote in a letter to colleagues that this is a crossroads in the nation’s history. “Now is the time for our Republican conference to come together to keep our promises to Americans,” he wrote.
“The problems we face are challenging, but they are not insurmountable. We can focus on the changes that improve the country and unite us in offering real solutions,” he continued. “But no matter what we do, we must do it together as a conference. I respectfully ask for your support for Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
In a letter to colleagues, Mr. Scalise listed bills the House has passed such as on border security and energy, and remarked that the job isn’t finished.
“Now is not the time to slow down,” he wrote. “We laid out an aggressive schedule to complete floor consideration of all 12 appropriations bills to go into Senate negotiations with the strongest hand possible, and we cannot afford to lose any more time achieving that goal.”
Mr. Scalise spoke about his personal life, including when he was one of six people shot in 2017 by a left-wing extremist one day before the annual bipartisan Congressional Baseball Game for Charity.
“God already gave me another chance at life. I believe we were all put here for a purpose,” he wrote.
“This next chapter won’t be easy, but I know what it takes to fight and I am prepared for the battles that lie ahead,” wrote Mr. Scalise, who has been in a battle with blood cancer that could cause him to miss time in Congress. “I humbly ask you for your support on this mission to be your Speaker of the House.”