As voting was dragged out, Steve Scalise’s allies made a back-stage play to get the Freedom Caucus to support the Louisiana Republican for speaker.
On Thursday a GOP lawmaker made overtures to renegade members of the House Freedom caucus about a possible deal that would elevate Scalise to the top job and make Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, their preferred candidate, House Majority Leader — the position Scalise currently holds, according to Politico.
Reports indicate that Scalise allies made calls to the caucus, gauging his support should McCarthy collapse.
Scalise — who was shot by a far-left extremist in 2017 — assiduously stayed above the fray, making no known inquiries and was never nominated for the job during any of the 15 rounds of voting.
McCarthy’s coalition did ultimately hold together and he claimed the Speaker’s gavel early Saturday morning.