House Freedom Caucus not opposing McCarthy for speaker

House Freedom Caucus not opposing McCarthy for speaker

House Freedom Caucus not opposing McCarthy for speaker

He replaced Eric Cantor as majority leader in 2014 after the Virginian unexpectedly lost a primary for his House seat and quit.

"I was encouraged that Steve Scalise this morning said that he thinks that, you know, after the election that Kevin, Kevin McCarthy ought to be the person to replace me after the elections", Ryan said during his weekly press conference.

Burdened with an unpopular president, as well as having to keep a close eye on Scalise (R-La.) - who also has publicly declared his desire to be speaker, but only if McCarthy falters -the 53-year-old California Republican will have to find a way to lead the House GOP to victory in November. 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. Behind the scenes, however, members of his own party were less than enchanted.

"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.

"I have more thoughts on this", he said.

And while Scalise has said in the past that he wouldn't challenge McCarthy for the GOP's top spot, members were under the impression that Scalise may be reconsidering that stance now that Ryan's departure is assured. There are a number of other party jobs in play - and the prospect of being in a minority party is not diminishing interest in moving up party ranks. But Scalise may not have known that Ryan meant to broadcast that statement to the Washington press corps.

'No, and I've said that before. "And they are going to immediately start positioning as this situation develops". He was elected in 2006 and rocketed into a leadership job in 2009, thanks to his campaigning for fellow Republicans.

Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas, and deputy Republican Whip Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, are leading candidates for higher roles. "It's hard to predict this far out", Collins said.

Ryan set off this leadership scramble Wednesday when he announced his retirement from Congress, and he reiterated Thursday that he intends to remain speaker through the rest of the year, despite a small group of lawmakers already pushing to hold leadership elections sooner.

In 2015, Freedom Caucus members also said they were open to considering McCarthy at first, but ultimately rejected him for Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., who had little chance of winning. 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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