Tags: kevin mccarthy | us house | gop | house speaker | paul ryan

Kevin McCarthy Poised For Top Spot in House if GOP Loses Majority

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By    |   Tuesday, 06 March 2018 10:02 AM

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has earned the stripes to replace Speaker Paul Ryan in the House - if Republicans lose their majority in November, GOP lawmakers told The Hill.

The prevailing wisdom is that Ryan will retire if Democrats win back majority of the House, regardless of Ryan's protestations to the contrary.

Given that scenario, McCarthy, R-Calif., seems to have the support to succeed Ryan, though as minority leader.

"Hopefully in November, we’re talking about a third term for Speaker Ryan," one House Republican told The Hill. "But if that’s not the case, I think Kevin’s the guy, and that comes from a more conservative member."

However, in the scenario where Ryan retires even if Republicans hold on to maintain the majority, albeit slimmer, House No. 3 Steve Scalise might generate support to leapfrog McCarthy, lawmakers tell The Hill.

Scalise isn't expected to challenge McCarthy outright, but he's next in line if McCarthy stumbles, as he did in the aftermath of John Boehner's retirement in 2015.

"I’ve always thought if we retain the majority and Paul leaves, it’s more likely to be Scalise than McCarthy,” a lawmaker told The Hill.

Then there's the Freedom Caucus, whose stout influence and oft-intraparty opposition forced out Boehner and has often been a burr in Ryan's saddle more than a few times.

"I think there will be a play from the right. But will it be the Freedom Caucus 30 or will it be a larger movement? And would Scalise lead it? I don’t know," another GOP lawmaker told The Hill. "But if McCarthy shows strength and there’s no opening, then I think McCarthy stays on as leader."

Ryan's filing deadline in Wisconsin for re-election is June 1.

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Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has earned the stripes to replace Speaker Paul Ryan in the House - if Republicans lose their majority in November, GOP lawmakers told The Hill.
kevin mccarthy, us house, gop, house speaker, paul ryan
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2018-02-06
Tuesday, 06 March 2018 10:02 AM
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