Ryan Implies Support for McCarthy to Take Over as Speaker

13 April, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • California's McCarthy expected to seek speaker position if Republicans keep the House

But as House Majority Leader during Ryan's tenure, McCarthy has developed a close working relationship with Donald Trump, who calls him "my Kevin" and reportedly considered him to replace the late Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff.

And Scalise recently told Politico that he would not challenge the No. 2 Republican in the House leadership, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, in the event the House Speaker's job came up for grabs.

Ryan later told reporters Scalise "thinks after the election that Kevin McCarthy ought be the person to replace me".

"So should Kevin McCarthy step aside, then I'm sure Steve Scalise would be the favorite to take that position, and even if Kevin McCarthy tries to run for the position, I think there's a lot of feelings within the Republican Caucus right now that Steve Scalise would be a better consensus candidate".

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Meadows mentioned Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, House Natural Resources Committee chairman, as a dark-horse candidate, because he was the speaker of the Utah House.

Scalise is also popular with House conservatives, which could give him an advantage among the House GOP conference's right flank, which is expected to make up a larger percentage of House Republicans after the midterms following a record-breaking tsunami of Republican retirements. "It shows you we have an intact leadership team".

House Speaker Paul Ryan's announcement Wednesday that he would not seek re-election triggered a battle for the position.

Meadows said McCarthy has been "reaching out, trying to keep his promises to a number of members of the House Freedom Caucus that will serve him well in whatever race should he throw his hat in the ring". All the analysts are saying you're going to have a blue wave.

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Some Republicans worry party cohesion could soon collapse amid this jockeying and a perceived vacuum after Ryan's surprise announcement - just when member focus is most needed on keeping the House majority.

Two House leaders aren't waiting.

Scalise apologized and said he'd been unaware of the group's racial views.

When Paul Ryan announced yesterday that he was not seeking re-election to the House seat he's held since first being elected in 1998, he made it clear that he meant to stay on board as Speaker of the House through the end of the current term of Congress. But the whip's aides said while he and Ryan spoke Thursday morning, Scalise said nothing privately that differed from his public remarks, seemingly suggesting Ryan had gone too far.

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To prevail, McCarthy, from Democratic-leaning California, will have to ensure sufficient support from conservative Freedom Caucus members who hold sway, and who can use their influence to extract concessions. Former Rep. Tip O'Neill was the last speaker to retire from office in 1987, and every speaker since the Massachusetts Democrat has either resigned and left Congress early or lost the majority and control of the House.



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