A scramble is on to fill the top GOP jobs in the House after Speaker John Boehner’s surprise resignation.
New York Rep. Peter King, who has had harsh words for the conservatives in his party who he said forced Boehner’s hand, came out joking. But they hope to exact commitments on hewing to conservative principles as Congress faces major battles on keeping the government running and avoiding a federal default ” right in the middle of a presidential campaign.
Five-term Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the front-runner to become Boehner’s successor, made it official in a letter to House Republican colleagues.
He did not take questions from press, but when asked by one journalist as he was getting into his SUV if he was running for speaker, McCarthy turned and said: “When I make an announcement, I’ll make sure you’re all on the list”.
While hardcore conservatives were frantically looking for a candidate over the weekend to challenge Mr. McCarthy, only Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida, a long shot, had put his hat in the ring. They threatened to shut down the government this week if Planned Parenthood, the women’s health provider whose services include abortion, isn’t defunded. His margin of victory in each speaker election was smaller than the last, and the latest effort to oust him by North Carolina Republican Mark Meadows seems to have worn Boehner out. We have learned all we can learn about what we need to do to protect our diplomats and our other civilians and we need to be enforcing and implementing those changes, which is what I started and what Secretary Kerry has continued.
The California Republican told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” he’s a firm believer in bottom-up leadership, saying he’d listen to the American people and all factions of his party. He is expected to meet this week with the House Freedom Caucus, the Tuesday Group, and the Republican delegations from Pennsylvania and Texas, Politico reports.
He added, “But we will also have the wisdom to listen to our constituents and each other so that we always move forward together”.
McCarthy and Boehner are allies, and Boehner has endorsed McCarthy to replace him. Where Boehner had no qualms with publicly blaming the more conservative members of the conference when they caused trouble, it’s in McCarthy’s nature to be more conciliatory.
Each member had the opportunity to speak for two minutes, lawmakers said after the meeting.
There have been many calls from the grassroots for House Republicans to find someone besides McCarthy to take Boehner’s place because as far as they are concerned, McCarthy is more of the same and not a step in the right direction.