“I don’t think anybody has an itchy trigger finger”, he said in an interview Wednesday night.
“I just think he is trying to figure out where everyone is”, the conservative Republican said of the five-term California congressman. “I want John Boehner to be speaker, I think he’s done a good job under incredibly hard circumstances, and attempts to remove the speaker and a motion to vacate the chair, in my opinion, are counterproductive, and I won’t participate in it”.
Some Freedom Caucus members suggested that any move against Boehner could be two months away, combining the outcome of how Planned Parenthood funding is handled along with the much broader budget debate set to come in negotiations that would last until at least Thanksgiving.
Other leaders of the House Freedom Caucus said they would wait until after Pope Francis’ visit to the Capitol next week to push forward on a vote. “We don’t have a definite time frame”.
McCarthy and Ryan are seen as natural successors to Boehner, R-Ohio, if he were to be removed as speaker.
But there are major roadblocks to bringing a continuing resolution to the floor for a vote.
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.
In his support of Boehner, McCarthy gave a lengthy defense of the successes that Republicans have had this year created to deflect criticism from the likes of Mulvaney, Salmon and Fleming, who say that there has been no difference in Congress now that Republicans control both the House and Senate.
Cheri Bustos, the Democrats wrote to Boehner Thursday saying they are gravely concerned that with less than two weeks to go until the government runs out of money, the House is only in session six more days.
Massie said the GOP does have a viable alternative – Rep. Daniel Webster, a 66-year-old Florida conservative who challenged Boehner in January but won just 12 votes.
The House Freedom Caucus, however, is led by Boehner’s Ohio colleague Jim Jordan and he has expressed little interest in going after the top post.
Other names that have surfaced in discussions are Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).
GOP leaders do not want another government-shutdown fight, and are trying to find a compromise to address lawmakers’ Planned Parenthood opposition and keep the government running. President Barack Obama could still veto the plan, but Scalise believes it would send a political message to the White House and avoid a politically damaging shutdown.
“This same group has frustrated our effort by joining with Democrats by preventing us from moving forward a conservative agenda”, said Oregon GOP Rep. Greg Walden. He is from Idaho.