Scalise: As Speaker, I'd Lead In The Fight For American Families
Washington, October 6, 2023
Today, 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.
Click here or the image above to view the full interview.
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.”