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Leader Scalise Discusses The House Speaker Race, The Border, & Israel

  • 10.11.23 Scalise PLAY
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. 

Click here or the image above to view the full interview. 

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.”