Tags: John Boehner Resigns | john boehner | replacements | republicans | house

Sides Already Aligning to Pick Boehner's Replacement

Sides Already Aligning to Pick Boehner's Replacement
(Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 25 September 2015 01:29 PM

House Speaker John Boehner's unexpected resignation Friday, coming just after a papal visit that he called one of the high points of his career, has already launched a succession battle among House Republicans that can turn bloody as tea party conservatives vie to wrest control away from the party's establishment.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is the one most likely to be next in line, reports CNN, but at the same time, he said he only found out about Boehner's resignation before Friday morning's meeting, when he informed colleagues that he would be leaving Washington at the end of October.

Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot told CNN the mood in the room was "somber," and Boehner, who is known for becoming emotional at times, had indeed shed some tears. However, he said the subject hadn't come up about who would replace the veteran lawmaker as Speaker.

McCarthy has only held the majority leader spot since last summer, but many Republicans have already been warming to the idea of his replacing Boehner, The Hill reported earlier this month, with members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus discussing what kind of leadership team would follow Boehner.

One caucus member told McCarthy during the summer recess that he'd have his support to replace Boehner, but told The Hill that he did not believe McCarthy was "plotting" to replace Boehner.

"I just think he is trying to figure out where everyone is," the unnamed lawmaker said. "I volunteered to him that, under the right circumstances, I could vote for him for speaker.”

Boehner this month was still rejecting concerns that he was going to leave the House, either willingly or by being voted out, telling reporters he has "widespread support amongst my members."

But tea party conservatives have tried to oust Boehner since he won the gavel after the 2010 election, and this summer have been threatening to vote him out if he didn't push to defund Planned Parenthood.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., introduced a measure this summer to remove Boehner, but on Friday, Meadows ruled himself out as Boehner's replacement, reports The Hill. 

He commented that it is of the "utmost importance" that the new leadership reflects "the diverse makeup of the House Republican Conference and, ultimately, that the voices of the American people are heard through their elected representatives."

Ironically, on Friday, Meadows offered praise for Boehner, saying he had "served with honor and distinction and his resignation was done with real class."

Further, he said he differed with Boehner on policy issues but still commended his "honorable service, his humility, his undeniable love for his country and his desire to serve this great nation."

Another potential successor, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, said that he is not interested in running to succeed Boehner, reports The Hill.

Ryan, who was Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012 under nominee Mitt Romney and currently chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, simply said he isn't running "because I don't want to be speaker."

He is reportedly close with McCarthy, but many House Republicans have openly said they want him to seek the Speaker's seat. But his colleagues have also questioned whether he'd want the job, because he has a young family and the position involves a great deal of fundraising and travel.

But Kansas GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a tea party Republican, told CNN he expects "everybody" to run, and that the "establishment lost today."

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, another conservative favorite who ran for the seat in January, would not say on Friday if he plans to try again, even though Freedom Caucus members have pointed to him to either replace Boehner or become House majority leader should McCarthy move up.

Three other potential candidates are being mentioned as potential replacements for Boehner, reports International Business Times: Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Tom Price of Georgia and Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Hensarling, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, stepped down from his position as the fourth-ranking House Republican in January 2013, and could draw support from his home state, which represents the largest GOP state bloc in the House.

Price chairs the Budget Committee, and lost his bid for conference chairman to Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers of Washington in January 2013. He'd likely have the support of grassroots conservatives, and in 2014 chose to remain in the House rather than seek Georgia's open Senate seat.

Scalise, meanwhile, is the House Majority Whip, and like Price opted to stay in the House rather than seeking a Senate seat last year.

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House Speaker John Boehner's unexpected resignation Friday, coming just after a papal visit that he called one of the high points of his career, has already launched a succession battle among House Republicans that can turn bloody as tea party conservatives vie...
john boehner, replacements, republicans, house
Friday, 25 September 2015 01:29 PM
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