As talks on ousting Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, from power grow louder, The Hill reports that House conservatives have held internal talks about a new leadership coalition that could include Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
Though the talks are informal, GOP lawmakers told The Hill that Boehner's removal could occur as early as this fall.
"I don’t think [McCarthy’s] plotting. I don’t think he’s trying to aid and abet," said one Freedom Caucus member who has been involved in the internal discussions. "I just think he is trying to figure out where everyone is. I volunteered to him that, under the right circumstances, I could vote for him for Speaker."
Boehner, who is receiving a lot of criticism amongst conservatives for his stance on the Planned Parenthood videos that were released this summer, doesn't seem to be concerned about his position in the House.
Boehner told The Hill that he has "widespread support amongst my members," dismissing the notion that he doesn't have control of his 246-member conference.
"Navigating tough challenges isn’t new to this leadership team," said Boehner spokeswoman Emily Schillinger in an email. "The Speaker is focused on the American people’s priorities and how we can accomplish them."
The speaker "is not going anywhere," she added. However, as an Oct. 1 deadline to defund Planned Parenthood and avoid shutting down government is quickly approaching, a conservative political firestorm is brewing.
"They call it the people’s house, and there is some chaos every once in a while," said a conservative lawmaker. "In this setting, it is inevitable that chaos is going to ensue."
The move to oust Boehner was initially started by Rep. Mark Meadows,
R-N.C. And, while driving through California he met with McCarthy, but noted that they didn’t discuss the "vacate Boehner" movement.
"It potentially could be a coalition of someone from current leadership with a more conservative member as part of leadership," Meadows told The Hill, "because our districts are not all Freedom Caucus districts."
Other names that have surfaced in discussions are Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).
But The Hill notes that it is unclear if Ryan is interested in being speaker and Scalise came under fire this year for speaking to a white supremacist group back in 2002.
While many are warming up to the idea of McCarthy, others, such as Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., said that placing McCarthy in a top position would be "a swap with no benefits."
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