Tags: paul ryan | midterms | mccarthy | scalise

House Majority Leader McCarthy Poised to Be Next Speaker

House Majority Leader McCarthy Poised to Be Next Speaker
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) (L) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) talk to reporters following the weekly House Republican Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol April 17, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 18 April 2018 10:54 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Now that Speaker Paul Ryan has decided to “call it a day” as Speaker, it is becoming increasingly clear that Majority Leader clear Kevin McCarthy has clear sailing to replace him.

Ryan — never a favorite among conservatives — came under fire for supporting the recent $1.2 trillion omnibus bill that drove up the national debt, busted the budget caps, failed to defund Sanctuary Cities and Planned Parenthood, and that denied the $25 billion that President Donald Trump requested for the border wall.

Never trusted by many in the Freedom Caucus, Ryan broke his promise to conservatives when he failed to put House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s border security bill on the floor of the House for a vote.

On the plus side, Ryan helped to sheppard through the tax cuts and to find badly needed dollars for the defense of the nation.

Some political prognosticators question the timing of Speaker Ryan’s announcement — suggesting that he is “throwing in the towel” because he believes that GOP in all likelihood will lose the House in the midterm elections. The timing is unusual, as most Speakers wait until the end of their term to announce they are stepping down. Although Ryan has signaled that he won’t run for congress again, he doesn’t intend to relinquish the Speaker’s gavel until January of 2019.

Ryan’s announcement paved the way for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a prolific fundraiser with many IOU’S inside the GOP caucus, who has quietly worked to build a network within the party. McCarthy is a favorite of President Trump and it seems a natural fit.

McCarthy has been endorsed by Speaker Ryan and his only major potential contender, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, recently endorsed McCarthy for Speaker as well, clearing the field for him.

Scalise was propelled into the national spotlight when he was shot and severely wounded last year at a soft ball practice with Republicans preparing for their annual game with the House Democrats. Scalise is a skilled vote counter and greatly respected by the president and conservatives. Before becoming the Whip, Scalise was in charge of the powerful Republican Study committee — the largest faction of conservatives in the GOP Caucus.

If all goes as some hope, Scalise would move up in the ranks and become majority leader.

Not often mentioned, but waiting in the wings to fill Scalise’s shoes, is Majority Whip Patrick McHenry — who currently is Rep. Sclaise’s Chief Deputy Whip. McHenry is smart, loyal, very competent, and he lives and breathes politics.

Also in the game and potential king maker is Freedom Caucus Chairman Meadows. Mark is politically astute, very close to the president and in sync with Trump’s blue collar base. And as Chairman of the Freedom Caucus, he has the ability to control a significant block of votes which could easily garner concessions from McCarthy — a seat at the table and perhaps a leadership post.

Much will ride on the outcome of the midterm elections.

If Republicans lose the House and find themselves in the minority, then in my view all bets are off. And there may well be a scramble for the top leadership posts.

A lot is riding on the midterms — not only republican control of congress but the future of President Trump’s agenda.

Marc Rotterman worked on the national campaign for Reagan for president in 1980. He currently serves as senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation. He is the host of "Front Row" on UNC-TV and The NC Channel. Follow him on Twitter @FrontRowmarc. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Now that Speaker Paul Ryan has decided to “call it a day” as Speaker, it is becoming increasingly clear that Majority Leader clear Kevin McCarthy has clear sailing to replace him.
paul ryan, midterms, mccarthy, scalise
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 10:54 AM
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