Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., made his pitch to fellow Republicans to become the next House speaker on Wednesday.
Scalise appeared on Fox News to discuss ongoing Republican deliberations on who will replace former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Scalise is facing a challenger in Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who has been endorsed by former President Trump.
“One of the things I’ve been talking about as Speaker Steve Scalise is I will be challenging Joe Biden on day one to focus on securing the border,” Scalise said when asked about the U.S.-Mexico border.
Scalise went on to say that McCarthy has chosen not to enter the speaker race for a second time, and he argued that he has the votes necessary to secure the position.
“Our momentum has been growing. I feel like we have the votes to do it – and not only do it today, but to go up on the House floor and get 218 votes, and then get back to work for the American people that elected us,” he said.
Scalise later said that he is confident the House will have a speaker by the end of the day, regardless of who it is.
Not all Republicans are so confident, however. GOP lawmakers are expected to hold their interparty election at 10 a.m. after getting briefed on the unfolding crisis in Israel – which adds a sense of urgency as lawmakers scramble to restore order in Congress.
“I don’t know if by the end of this week we will have a speaker. If you were to ask me a couple days ago, pre-Israel being horrifically attacked by Hamas, I would have told you that it would have been a month before we had a speaker,” Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., told reporters after a closed-door GOP meeting Tuesday night.
Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., was also doubtful a candidate will be chosen by the end of the day.
“I think there’s some [lawmakers] that have some problems with past behavior and each other, and so I think it’s going to take more than one day to get this done,” Murphy told Fox News Digital.
Fox News’ Liz Elkind contributed to this report.