McCarthy, Scalise Emerge As Frontrunners To Replace Ryan As Speaker

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

The sixth-term congressman has not announced he's seeking the speakership, and had no comment Wednesday.

If Democrats prevail in the November elections, the job opening will be for minority leader, a much less powerful position. "I've talked to Mr. Scalise and Mr. McCarthy".

"We don't need the drama or distraction", Representative Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania said in an interview. 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.

"You have a lot of the Southern states who are looking to shift leadership back to that part of the country", said Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla.

McCarthy, 53, is his party's No. 2 House leader and was one of the earliest and steadiest backers of Trump's presidential campaign.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows told reporters Wednesday that while he has a preference in the speaker's race he will "absolutely not" share who that is yet.

McCarthy remained in his post as whip, but has not given up his leadership ambitions.

'I was encouraged that Steve Scalise this morning said that he thinks that after the election that Kevin McCarthy ought to be the person to replace me, ' Ryan said Thursday.




"My hope, and this has been my advice, is we need to focus", said Reed, a Ways and Means Committee member who says he has no designs on a leadership job.

Neither man is known for rhetorical flourishes, with McCarthy, in particular, prone to sentences that defy the rules of grammar.

In 2014, Scalise was discovered to have addressed a white-supremacist group in 2002 founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. And while Ryan's current position is one for which legislators of any persuasion would sell at least one of their children, whether his replacement will get to retain the Speaker's gavel or glumly add "House Minority Leader" to their résumé rests entirely on what happens on Election Day. 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. That could be intensified after November, when Republicans are expected to lose seats and many of those departing will be moderates.

Scalise is viewed as more conservative than McCarthy.

McCarthy has worked to improve his relationship with conservatives, including trying to craft legislation cutting spending from the government budget enacted recently.

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.

Those close to Scalise say he is unlikely to directly challenge McCarthy. McCarthy subsequently withdrew his bid, calling for a candidate that could get the support of all Republicans.

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