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Boehner: House Will Vote for New Speaker Next Week

Image: Boehner: House Will Vote for New Speaker Next Week
(AP)

Wednesday, 21 Oct 2015 01:06 PM

Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives will choose their new speaker next week, outgoing speaker John Boehner - who resigned under pressure from rebellious conservatives in his own Republican party -- said Wednesday.

Boehner announced that Republicans will pick their nominee October 28, with the full House voting the following day. Boehner has said he wants to step down on October 30.

The leadership of the chamber was thrown into chaos two weeks ago when number two Republican Kevin McCarthy bowed out of the race to replace Boehner, who announced his resignation amid a revolt by the chamber's hard-right faction.

Paul Ryan, the 2012 vice presidential nominee who serves as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was quickly floated as a replacement, but he initially expressed hesitation about taking the job.

On Tuesday, Ryan told colleagues he would seek the speaker's gavel -- but only under certain conditions, including that all main party factions back him before the vote, and that changes to chamber rules be made by the caucus, not just to placate conservatives.

He also said he wants changes to a rule that allows any member to demand a vote to oust a sitting speaker of the House.

"I think Paul Ryan would make a great speaker, but this decision is up to the members," Boehner told reporters after a Republican closed-door meeting Wednesday.

Asked what would be Plan B in the event Ryan backs out, or if conservatives reject him, Boehner sounded an ominous tone: "Don't know."

Conservatives indeed seem hesitant towards agreeing to Ryan.

The House Freedom Caucus, a group of some 40 conservative lawmakers, has endorsed another candidate, little-known Daniel Webster, and caucus chairman Jim Jordan would not say Wednesday whether its members could back Ryan.

Under the group's rules, 80 percent of its members would need to support the shift for the group to endorse Ryan.

"That's our bylaws," Jordan shrugged, adding that the group was to meet with Ryan later Wednesday.

Other conservatives were not impressed with Ryan's demands.

"What Paul Ryan is asking for... is even more power and less responsibility" than Boehner has now, congressman Tim Huelskamp told National Journal.

Democrats immediately warned that Ryan would be a "disaster" as speaker, noting that he crafted an austerity budget aimed at slashing entitlement programs like Medicare, welfare and food stamps.

 

 

© AFP 2017

 
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Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives will choose their new speaker next week, outgoing speaker John Boehner - who resigned under pressure from rebellious conservatives in his own Republican party -- said Wednesday.Boehner announced that Republicans will pick their...
politics, Congress, Republicans, speaker
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2015-06-21
Wednesday, 21 Oct 2015 01:06 PM
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