Editorial: Republican House caucus looking for agreement
The rambunctious Republican caucus apparently is not ready to choose its candidate to be the next speaker of the U.S. House. A full House vote was scheduled for today, but current House Speaker John Boehner changed his mind and postponed the vote...
The rambunctious Republican caucus apparently is not ready to choose its candidate to be the next speaker of the U.S. House.
A full House vote was scheduled for today, but current House Speaker John Boehner changed his mind and postponed the vote until Oct. 29. Boehner is stepping down and resigning from Congress on Oct. 30.
The five-term Republican Kevin McCarthy had been considered the favorite to be the Republican nominee after serving as majority leader as well as in other leadership roles. However, he is facing some opposition from within his caucus.
Democrats remain squarely behind their leader Nancy Pelosi of California as a candidate for the House Speaker role. Since the Democrats are in the minority, it is highly unlikely she would be elected.
McCarthy has apparently locked up enough support within the Republican caucus to be nominated, but he does not yet have enough support among Republican members to get the required 218 votes necessary.
The more conservative members of the Republican House caucus are seeking a more brash and assertive House Speaker.
McCarthy’s recent gaffe during a television interview when he said the House investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email situation was designed for political purposes did not sit well.
He later issued a statement: “the mission of the Select Committee on Benghazi is to find the truth --- period.”
This misstep has open the window slightly for a caucus challenge from Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah. Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida may be a possible compromise candidate.
There is a group of 40 conservative House Republicans who have remained non-committal on Tuesday. This is a large enough group to block McCarthy’s election as speaker.
Other Republicans are now raising the question of this conservative group holding the Republican Caucus hostage with their small block in the group.
The Democrats have said they will not help the Republicans elect the next speaker and would all vote for Pelosi.
The real question is what will happen if McCarthy cannot get the required 218 votes needed to be elected speaker. If McCarthy cannot reach the 218 votes needed, there is no guarantee that the House will quickly agree on any other candidate.
Will the House become institutionally paralyzed until the House can come to an agreement on a new speaker? Every issue, including the debt limit issue, will likely take a back seat to the need for a new speaker.
The House Republicans will likely come to some agreement prior to the House votes at the end of the month. It would not be good to paralyze the House over the issue of its speaker.