House conservatives have begun holding preliminary talks about replacing embattled House Speaker John Boehner with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
"I don't think [McCarthy's] plotting," one member of the House Freedom Caucus told The Hill
on Tuesday. "I don't think he's trying to aid and abet.
"I just think he is trying to figure out where everyone is," the conservative Republican said of the five-term California congressman. "I volunteered to him that, under the right circumstances, I could vote for him for speaker."
Conservative Republicans have long targeted Boehner since he was first elected speaker in 2011 — and some have pledged to oppose his leadership role should he survive the 2016 elections if he does not strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funds in the upcoming budget talks.
Boehner, 65, who has represented Ohio since 1991, is in his third two-year term as speaker. The House Republican Conference has 246 members.
Initially, aides to both Boehner and McCarthy would not comment to the Hill, though the speaker said last week that he had "widespread support amongst my members."
Boehner spokeswoman Emily Schillinger, however, later told the Hill that the speaker "is not going anywhere."
"Navigating tough challenges isn't new to this leadership team," she said in an email. "The speaker is focused on the American people's priorities and how we can accomplish them."
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