Tags: GOP2016 | Paul Ryan | house | ryan | republicans | speaker | democrats

Centrist House Republicans May Turn to Dems to Elect Speaker

(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 17 October 2015 04:42 PM

Congressional Republicans may have no choice but to enlist Democrats to elect a new speaker if Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan declines the job.

"I don't see a Plan B" if Ryan refuses the job, said Rep. Peter King, a centrist Republican who has represented New York since 2005, told The Hill.

Otherwise, if no other Republican can garner 218 votes from the party's conference, "in that case, we would have to consider having a coalition speaker," King said.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time that's something we don't want — it's not good," he added of the possibility. "On the other hand, we can't go on forever without a speaker."

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, who first broached the idea of the parties coming together on a candidate, called the situation "a very simple question of math."

"If there are not 218 Republican votes on the House floor, then by necessity the Democrats will have a say in who the next speaker will be," Dent told the Hill. "I still think it's a possibility."

The furor comes as conservative Republicans continue to push Florida Rep. Daniel Webster, who is not expected to get the necessary 218 GOP votes to succeed John Boehner.

He abruptly announced last month that he was quitting Congress on Oct. 30, but has agreed to stay until a new speaker has been elected.

Ryan, the 2012 vice presidential candidate who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, continues to say that is he is not interested in the speakership — but some Republicans are holding out hope that he might change his mind.

In the meantime, Democrats have ruled out the idea of a coalition speaker, the Hill reports.

"It'll never happen," said Rep. Joseph Crowley, the New York vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus.

Crowley made the remark after GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled out after the backlash over his comments about the special House Benghazi committee and its impact on Democrat Hillary Clinton's poll numbers.

"Hopefully, the Republicans will come to terms as to who their recommendation will be for speaker," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the Hill. "But that's really up to them."

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, however, aren't having it — and even some are resistant to Ryan.

"The top two positions are from blue states," Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp told the Hill. Boehner is from Ohio and McCarthy California.

"It's time we had a red-state Republican at the top," Huelskamp said. "That would be helpful."

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Congressional Republicans may have no choice but to enlist Democrats to elect a new speaker if Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan declines the job. I don't see a Plan B if Ryan refuses the job, said Rep. Peter King, a centrist Republican who has represented New York since 2005,...
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2015-42-17
Saturday, 17 October 2015 04:42 PM
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