Rep. Scalise's cancer diagnosis has some Republicans hesitant about speakership vote

 October 11, 2023

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) is currently battling Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for the House speakership, and on Wednesday, won a preliminary vote against Jordan to secure the spot.

While he might not have the ability to secure enough total House support to become the next speaker, according to Fox News, Dr. Marc Siegel sang Scalise's praises and talked about advanced cancer treatments that mean Scalise is fit to lead the House.

As Business Insider reported, Scalise suffers from a rare form of cancer. The diagnosis has some Republicans hesitant to cast a vote of confidence for his ascension to the speakership.

Scalise made the shocking announcement in August in a tweet.

"After a few days of not feeling like myself this past week, I had some bloodwork done. The results uncovered some irregularities and after undergoing additional tests, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a very treatable blood cancer," Scalise said at the time.

Dr. Siegel said that new and advanced treatments for the rare cancer should provide Scalise's colleagues, and the American public, full confidence that he can lead in the position.

"The new targeted therapeutic approach that has changed the "game" includes the groundbreaking monoclonal antibody daratumumab, CAR T cell therapies where immune cells are removed from the body and modified to target certain proteins on the surface of the malignant plasma cells," Siegel wrote.

He added, "Symptoms of multiple myeloma include bone pain, fractures, fatigue, weight loss, frequent infections. Steve Scalise has a lot to deal with in his treatment and recovery from this dreaded cancer. But as with his near deadly gunshot wound, I would bet on his courage, perseverance, positive attitude, and faith to bring him there. I believe he is fit to heal and fit to lead."

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) was one of the House Republicans who said she couldn't support Scalise because of his cancer diagnosis, stressing that the decision wasn't personal.

"I just voted for Jim Jordan for Speaker on a private ballot in conference, and I will be voting for Jim Jordan on the House floor. I like Steve Scalise, and I like him so much that I want to see him defeat cancer more than sacrifice his health in the most difficult position in Congress. I lost my father to cancer and it’s a very serious battle," Taylor Green tweeted.

Scalise will reportedly undergo treatment for the next several months.

Only time will tell if he's able to convince House members that he's healthy enough to do the job.