Kevin McCarthy has a road to the House speaker's job

13 April, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Rep. Kevin Mc Carthy responds to Paul Ryan not seeking re-election

Though there's some sense that the Majority Leader, who is well-liked by Trump, is the favorite, Scalise would reportedly leap at an opening if he senses McCarthy won't be able to drum up the necessary votes.

Ryan said he was "encouraged" when Scalise said Thursday morning that McCarthy ought to be the person to replace the speaker. Members of the highly conservative House Freedom Caucus were threatening to withhold their support unless McCarthy, who is considered more a part of the Republican establishment, embraced their pick for a new majority leader and made other concessions.

Those remarks suggest there won't be all-out war between the two powerful Republicans in the wake of House Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-WI) sudden decision to announce his retirement on Wednesday. That means the candidate for speaker must have votes from all or almost all members of the party to get the required total of 50 percent plus at least 1 to become speaker.

"I mean, I've never run against Kevin and wouldn't run against Kevin", the Louisiana Republican told Fox News, adding, "and he and I are good friends".

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"In terms of getting things like coastal erosion, infrastructure projects, projects that require a large amount of money from the federal appropriation bills, but even if Republicans did lose control of the House, certainly as minority leader he would still have a great deal of influence over the appropriations process", said Collins.

"Today I'm announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the House", said Ryan, R-Wisconsin.

Ryan's statement, presented as an off-hand comment, comes as a surprise. That fear seemed at least partially realized when Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) said that he too would be retiring from Congress minutes after the Ryan news broke. "And they are going to immediately start positioning as this situation develops".

The chair of the House Republican conference has the best chance of any woman to win the job, and it is a slim one, which is a fair summary of the current state of her party.

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Our sources say that could pull an already divided conference even further apart.

Whether the party was united or not, Ryan's announcement could not have been more ill-timed, coming just months before a contentious midterm election that may wipe out the Republican majority in the House.

A handful of caucus-leading kingmakers are expected to weigh in on these races, especially Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus, a group of about three-dozen members. Freedom Caucus members have lambasted its passage. "We need to make sure [Republicans] hold the House", he said.

"It's obviously in our interest to keeping our majority, that every player is on the field fighting for this majority", Ryan said.

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"The strength he's shown with his injury, I think, has heightened where he is" among colleagues, said Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn.

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