It was another tumultuous week in the Republican caucus as the election for the next House Speaker was blown up by the House Freedom Caucus (HFC), a group of 40 or so of the most conservative House Republicans. The HFC were able to withhold enough votes to not give a promotion to current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) who needed at least 218 votes from House Republicans to secure the gavel. The caucus was in disarray when McCarthy told the caucus in a closed door meeting he would drop out of the race and said “I’m not the one.” Members were visibly upset with some claiming there was even sobs coming from some members who see the inability to secure a consensus candidate for Speaker a major hindrance to the Party and the country.
What happens next? Is really anyone’s guess with many farfetched options being thrown out there including having a interim Speaker like a retiring member of Congress that would serve out the rest of this session, Speaker Boehner staying on until they can get a consensus or even nominating someone outside of Congress like Mitt Romney! The one idea that is getting a lot of momentum is nominating former Vice Presidential nominee and current Chairman of the House and Ways Committee, Paul Ryan (WI). Ryan who twenty minutes after the news broke that McCarthy would drop out reiterated his lack of interest in being Speaker has started hedging after much pressure from Republicans on both sides of the Party. Many see Rep. Ryan as the only candidate who can unite the establishment and tea party elements of the caucus. Potential candidates for Speaker have said they want Rep. Ryan to run but if he doesn’t they might jump in the race like Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA).
Ultimately Rep. Ryan is the best chance for the caucus to present a united front and elect a Speaker who will have legitimate power. As he has hedged on whether he run over the last 24 hours, many say his wife a former Hill staffer who knows how grueling being Speaker can be on a young family, will have the final say. Elections originally scheduled for Oct 29 to elect the next Majority Leader and Whip have been put on hold since McCarthy will be staying on as Leader and Rep. Steve Scalise as Whip. Elections for the next Speaker have not been determined and probably will not be until a candidate who can get 218 votes emerges.
HUPAC Supported Events
Chris Hartmann Events:
Chris attended the Mod Squad coffee for Senate Chief of Staffs and Legislative Directors. There Chris spoke with the Chief of Staff for Senator Warner (VA) and Senator Tester (MT). Chris also spoke with the Legislative Director for Senator Donnelly (IN) and Senator King (ME). We discussed employer reporting and the excise tax
Events Next Week:
No events are on the calendar next week due to the weeklong Congressional recess.
Why Kevin McCarthy’s Speaker Bid Was Doomed