- McCarthy Withdraws, Speaker Election Delayed
- October 22, 2015
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) shocked his colleagues and the political world when he pulled himself out of the race to replace Speaker John Boehner at the meeting of the GOP conference on Thursday at noon. Just that morning, McCarthy was telling his colleagues and reporters that he had the votes necessary to secure the Speakership. With the McCarthy announcement, Boehner scuttled the election and said it will be rescheduled.
In a short press conference, McCarthy said that the conference needed a "fresh face" to "unite the conference."
McCarthy has signaled that he intends on remaining in his current post as Majority Leader.
Boehner, who had planned on resigning from Congress on October 29, said that he will stay on as Speaker until a new leader is elected, which he is “confident” will happen in the coming weeks.
What comes next is, so far, uncertain.
The only consensus candidate whose name has been bandied about, says he doesn't want the job. House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has repeatedly said he doesn't want to be Speaker and has no intention of running for the job. That hasn't stopped many of his colleagues, including Boehner himself, to urge Ryan to run anyways. The mounting pressure has moved Ryan from a firm “no” to now apparently “thinking about it.”
Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee remains a candidate, as well as Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL), who was endorsed by the House Freedom Caucus.
The House Freedom Caucus called an emergency meeting directly after McCarthy's announcement and say that they are still standing behind Webster.
Late yesterday afternoon, Rep. Lynne Westmoreland (R-GA) threw his name into the hat as well. Other names that have been bandied about include current Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), a former member of GOP leadership, and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), who currently heads the National Republican Congressional Committee. Walden is one of the names being tossed around as a potential interim Speaker who would only serve until the end of this Congress.