House Speaker Paul Ryan's announcement that he will step down from Congress—predicted by Newsmax on April 4—paves the way for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise to assume the speaker’s gavel in January.
But that scenario depends on Republicans keeping their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives this fall. With 38 Republican House members resigning, retiring, or seeking another office, Democrats are positioned better than ever to pick up the 25 seats they need to take control of the House and make Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaker.
Should Republicans become a minority in the House this fall, it is unclear who would become minority leader. Present House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is technically in line to assume the leadership if Republicans become a minority. But McCarthy could step aside and allow Scalise, R-La.—who, as Whip, is next in line in the Republican hierarchy — to step up and become minority leader.
McCarthy, who withdrew from the race for speaker in 2015 and helped convince Ryan to run, has signaled he is not interested in becoming speaker if Republicans retain the majority this November.
Scalise, 52, became nationally-known last year after he was shot and seriously wounded when a gunman opened fire on members of Congress practicing for their annual baseball game.
He made a gradual recovery and was given a prolonged ovation when President Trump mentioned him during the State of the Union address earlier this year.
Scalise is considered closer to the younger, more conservative Freedom Caucus members in the Republican Conference than either Ryan or McCarthy. During the final year of the Obama presidency, Scalise was front-and-center in the fight to stop the Iran nuclear deal.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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