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Tags: mccarthy | boehner | speaker | announce | run

McCarthy Launches Bid to Replace Boehner as Speaker

McCarthy Launches Bid to Replace Boehner as Speaker
(Getty Images)

Monday, 28 September 2015 04:51 PM EDT

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he’s running to replace Speaker John Boehner, a position the five-term California congressman appears prepared to easily win.

“We can’t ignore the differences that exist, but we can and must heal the divisions in our conference with work, time and trust,” McCarthy said Monday in an e-mail to Republican colleagues released by his office. “That is why I have decided to run for speaker of the House and graciously ask for your support.”

Boehner’s surprise announcement on Friday that he’ll resign from Congress at the end of October followed years of conflict with conservative members of his Republican caucus. They threatened to shut down the government this week if Planned Parenthood, the women’s health provider whose services include abortion, isn’t defunded.

McCarthy is likely to win an election to replace Boehner, said House Republicans Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina and Tom Cole of Oklahoma on “Fox News Sunday.”

House Republicans plan to meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss how they’ll proceed.

If he becomes speaker, McCarthy would immediately face difficult issues on which members of his party are divided. They include raising the U.S. debt limit, increasing spending on highways and reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, all of which are opposed by conservative lawmakers.

Spending Bill

He apparently won’t have to deal with a government shutdown when current funding ends Wednesday night. Boehner said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the House will pass a Senate spending bill, with the help of votes from Democrats, to keep the government operating without defunding Planned Parenthood.

Boehner also suggested on “Face the Nation” that he will seek to push through other top corporate priorities before departing at the end of October. “I don’t want to leave my successor a dirty barn,” he said on the program.

It’s unclear how McCarthy, a California state lottery winner who used his winnings to help bankroll a sandwich shop business, would react if Boehner tries to push legislation opposed by conservative members through the House before leaving. McCarthy has said he opposes rechartering the Export- Import Bank, a top goal of business groups in Washington.

Avoiding a federal shutdown this week may be only a temporary victory, as the interim funding bill being considered by the Senate would expire Dec. 11. That raises the possibility of another shutdown battle in a little more than two months.

Planned Parenthood

A group of about 30 House conservatives have said they won’t support any spending bill that funds Planned Parenthood.

So far, Representative Daniel Webster of Florida -- who got 12 votes in January against Boehner -- is the only other announced candidate for speaker. He isn’t seen as a formidable challenger.

Leadership elections are likely to be held in the next few weeks.

With McCarthy looking assured for the top job, conservatives plan to assert themselves in races for the second- , third- and possibly fourth-ranking Republican leadership posts. By taking some of those spots, they could temper any McCarthy tendencies toward accommodation and pull the Republican caucus rightward.

Tom Price

The race for the No. 2 job that would be vacated by McCarthy is shaping up to be a competitive battle.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas decided not to seek a leadership position and will support Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price of Georgia for majority leader, his spokeswoman Sarah Rozier said in an e-mail. Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan also endorsed Price for the No. 2 job on Monday.

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, now the Republican whip, No. 3 in the leadership, has told colleagues he wants McCarthy’s current job. In addition to Price, the No. 4 Republican, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, may also seek McCarthy’s position.

The race for majority leader could become a referendum on the Export-Import Bank, which McMorris Rodgers supports and the others oppose. Price’s candidacy could trigger an intraparty fight over higher defense spending, which he has opposed without offsetting cuts elsewhere in the budget.

In a message to colleagues on Monday, McMorris Rodgers said, “All of us want to work together with the trust and respect our service demands, and it starts with opening lines of communication” during the meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Representative Dennis Ross of Florida has told colleagues he’ll seek to become whip. Ross, in a statement, pledged to bring bills to a vote within 90 days on an Obamacare alternative, immigration reform and overhauling the tax code.

Other possible whip candidates include Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, currently Scalise’s top deputy; Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma and Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas.

© Copyright 2022 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


Headline
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he's running to replace Speaker John Boehner, a position the five-term California congressman appears prepared to easily win. "We can't ignore the differences that exist, but we can and must heal the divisions in our conference with...
mccarthy, boehner, speaker, announce, run
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2015-51-28
Monday, 28 September 2015 04:51 PM
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