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Who Will Replace Boehner?

Who Will Replace Boehner?

“If I wanted to manage a mental health hospital, I would have gone into another line of work.”

After Speaker Boehner’s unexpected resignation announcement Friday, the scramble to replace him is underway. Friday, Congressional members hoping to fill Boehner’s shoes were frantically whipping votes and calling in favors.

Boehner indicated he will not vacate his role until the end of October, leaving the House five weeks to select his replacement.

Who’s in and who’s out?

A handful of high-profile House Republicans have indicated they have no interest in the speakership

According to the Daily Caller, Issa and Gowdy are out:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is in the running as a potential successor to Boehner, but other members are likely to be interested in the job as well. Could a member of the Freedom Caucus become speaker? Issa does not think so.

“Boehner never had a camp per se,” the California Republican said when asked if someone from Boehner’s circle could be the next speaker. “I would say it’s not likely to be a member of the Freedom Caucus, but it’s certainly going to have to be somebody who the Freedom Caucus has respect for.”

South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy told reporters the job of speaker is hard and he does not want it.

“Oh please. Have you seen it? If I wanted to manage a mental health hospital, I would have gone into another line of work,” Gowdy said.

Issa also told TheDC he has no interest in running for Boehner’s job.

“Aren’t we all leaders?” he asked.

He explained, “No. This came as a shock to me. I’m busy trying to do immigration reform and patent reform but I’ll look at all the candidates.”

Also out? Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Raúl Labrador, Rep. Jim Jordan, and Rep. Mark Meadows.

Louis Gohmert is also a no:

Who wants the gavel? It’s still early, but these are a few possible contenders:


Currently billed as Boehner’s most likely replacement, McCarthy is definitely in the running. From the San Francisco Gate:

The California Republican, who is the overwhelming favorite to succeed John Boehner as speaker, has relied on those skills to navigate the treacherous waters of the fractious GOP conference.

But they won’t change the unpleasant reality of the limits the tea party-driven House confronts in a capital city dominated by a Democratic president — and the resulting frustration for conservatives who stormed Washington on a wave of opposition to President Barack Obama.

Like Boehner, McCarthy is a realist. But conservatives frustrated with Boehner’s willingness to strike deals with Democrats see an ally in McCarthy, who cut his teeth as an aide to powerful former Rep. Bill Thomas, whose seat he easily won in 2006.

…Then, as now, there is no credible alternative to McCarthy’s ascent.

There’s more to his success than luck, however. Inside leadership, McCarthy’s accessibility and open-mindedness has won him friends in all corners of the GOP conference and he’s more popular among junior lawmakers than Boehner.

“He is a savant of human relationships and that makes him somewhat unique,” said Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., who admits their relationship has had ups and downs.
“The reason he’s so successful with the members is he knows their districts in addition to knowing them,” said Erica Elliott, a former aide and confidante. “Kevin knows 100 percent of the time exactly where the conference is.”


The Congressman from Texas is weighing his options and will announce his decision early next week. The Dallas Morning News reported:

Hensarling’s staff says he is considering whether to seek the Speaker’s race, and weighing his options. No decision expected until next week. “Chairman Hensarling is considering his options and I expect he will have a decision early next week,” spokeswoman Sarah Rozier said moments ago.


The Daily Herald reports Rep. Roskam has quickly garnered enough support (50 votes) to call a meeting next week. Even so, Rep. Roskam has yet confirm he will be seeking the speakership:

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam says he has enough support to call a meeting among fellow House Republicans to talk about the future of the party in the wake of House Speaker John Boehner’s retirement announcement Friday.

The Wheaton Republican sent a letter to his colleagues early Saturday morning requesting the meeting and said by the end of the day he had secured signatures from the more than 20 percent of House Republicans needed to call it.

“It is not every day a sitting speaker of the House of Representatives steps down because of divisions within a deeply conflicted Republican majority. That unusual development alone should give us all great pause,” the letter reads.

Without a deeper discussion, “we won’t heal the fractures in a conference that has thus far proved unleadable,” he wrote. “In fact, we will find ourselves right back where we are now — stymied by dysfunction and disunity. … In short, we need a plan, not a person.”

…The letter makes a point possibly aimed at the early leadership favorites that he tried to emphasize just after Boehner’s announcement, saying “simply reshuffling the deck won’t serve our members.”

After Roskam tried to move up last year, he said the loss came largely for geographic reasons. He’s a Republican from a Democratic-leaning Illinois. But Saturday, he sought to publicly downplay his own future in calling for the meeting, saying he’s not announcing a run for leadership at the moment.

“This is not about me,” he said. “This is about understanding the importance of this historic moment — the resignation of a speaker due to internal party divisions — and making sure we empower our conference and leaders to fix the mistakes that got us here.”


From the Washington Examiner:

One is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the presumptive front-runner given that he’s the number two Republican in the House. The other is Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., who some might forget has already run for House speaker, and said Friday he would run again.

“My goal is for the House of Representatives to be based on principle, not on power,” he said. “Every member of Congress deserves a seat at the table to be involved in the process. I will continue fighting for this to become a reality in Washington, and will be running for Speaker of the House.”

Back in January, when the new Congress convened, members continued the tradition of standing up in the House chamber to declare who they support as speaker. Webster was one of three Republicans who ran against Boehner.

Webster only got 12 votes, but that made him the clear choice for opponents of Boehner. The other two candidates, Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Ted Yoho, R-Fla., got just 3 and 2 votes, respectively.

…late Friday, Webster told Sean Hannity’s radio show that he would run for speaker.


From Georgia’s Peach Pundit:

Conservatives (including some who were publicly anti-Boehner) seem to be OK with McCarthy. Surprises can happen, and it’s still early. An hour in, McCarthy seems to be sitting pretty.

That said, there’s an open position of Majority Leader now. I am told that Tom Price will take a strong look at this race. A rematch with Cathy McMorris Rogers, as well as potentially against Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan are potential others looking at the Majority Leader position.


McMorris Rodgers:

No word yet if the Washington Congresswoman will go for the gavel, but she’s likely eyeing the roll of Majority Leader. All of this assumes McCarthy vacates the position should he ascend to the speakership. From the Seattle Times:

Sources close to Washington’s congressional delegation said Friday that McMorris Rodgers is working on a possible bid for the No. 2 position in the House. She’s also been identified as a leading contender in national media reports.

That path would open up if — as many expect — the current majority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is elected speaker once Boehner gives up the gavel at the end of October.

McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking woman in GOP leadership, now holds the No. 4 spot as chair of the House Republican Conference.

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NC Mountain Girl | September 27, 2015 at 9:44 am

I would not make light of Webster. He got those 12 votes after throwing his hat in the ring only a couple of hours before the vote for Speaker. While he is a relative newcomer to Congress he is no neophyte to insider political maneuvering. He has served both as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and Majority Leader of the Florida State Senate. He is also savvy in terms of retail politics and winning elections. As a Florida politician Webster had to face voters in a newly drawn district after every census. While only in this third term in Congress, he has already been elected from two districts.

He’s an interesting dark horse choice for a divided house. He has no major baggage from past actions in Congress and a resume that shows lots of legislative competence.

    Webster is no neophyte, for sure. But his stand on illegal aliens? I’ve heard he’s pro-amnesty, but I’ve not read up on him myself.

    Rep. Webster is well respected here in Central Florida. He beat Alan Grayson for congress and that is big. I like Webster but there are some things that are a on fern for me. He is for instance a mini Huckabee. I am no Huckabee fan. Also, he is apparently in favor of amnesty.

    Despite his desire to be speaker, Webster may not have a congressional district. Right now they are being redrawn here in Florida.

I’m not going to pretend any expertise here, but Jim Jordan (if my memory curse is not acting) would be swell.

So after forcing out the speaker for his role in reinforcing, rather than fighting, the democrat agenda, the conventional wisdom is that the republicans will replace him with his closest ally (other than Nancy Pelosi).

Yes. It would be exactly like the Republican party to be that moronic. But the conventional wisdom a week ago was that Boehner was nearly invulnerable. Maybe there’s still hope.

    pesanteur in reply to irv. | September 27, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I don’t agree that there is hope, at least in a traditional sense. If there is hope, it will only come under the pressure of overwhelming and nonnegotiable force. That is, if a reformist president is elected and conducts a total purge of the Washington party apparatus.

      NC Mountain Girl in reply to pesanteur. | September 27, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      Please explain how such force would work under the US Constitution and separation of powers. Outsider Jimmy Carter came thinking he had a mandate to clean up the way Washington worked and encountered a buzz saw within his own party in Congress, helped by an attitude that he was the smartest guy in the room. Reagan, who had a bigger mandate, actually played it much smarter. He listened to all the players and confined himself to changing what he could with the application of honey as opposed to bleach.

      As for Trump, it’s a funny thing b

    Estragon in reply to irv. | September 27, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Why should 28 members (those who publicly declared they opposed Boehner for Speaker before he resigned) or even 50 (the number Labrador claimed, although his claims have always been inflated when it comes time to vote) dictate to the other 197-219 members of the GOP Caucus?

    We elect leaders by the most votes, not the most volume.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Estragon. | September 27, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      When these other 197-219 members of the GOP Caucus lose to 28-50 conservative members, I’d say it’s a good thing they got so many ineffectual losers out of the way. You sound like a 40 year old man asking, “why is it fair for this 5 year old kid to keep beating me up? Somebody do something!”

Boehner’s departure has only symbolic and ephemeral meaning and is in fact a sham. The structure, management and ideology of the GOPe will not change in the slightest. They dearly hope we will be placated by the sham, as we have been before with respect to their promises.

Connivin Caniff | September 27, 2015 at 11:34 am

If Boehner has his way, what he accomplishes over the next thirty days will make the choice of the next speaker irrelevant.

Bottom line: Boehner is by far the most conservative Speaker Republicans have ever had (Gingrich was great in the minority and for the first 100 days, after that he consistently backstabbed conservatives and made secret deals with Democrats, don’t let the revisionists tell you otherwise). In the ten years before he became Speaker (they don’t vote on most issues), he was rated the 8th most conservative member of the House.

The next Speaker won’t be close. Be careful what you wish for.

– –

Just like Brat isn’t close to as conservative as Cantor was. Just wait until meaningful immigration votes DO come up, and come back bragging on him then. And squishy as Rand Paul on foreign policy, too.

You can be a conservative, or you can be a filthy “anti-establishment” hippy. You cannot be both.

    “Boehner is by far the most conservative Speaker Republicans have ever had ”

    Spoken like a true jebster R insider.

    “We friends like these we need no enemies”

    You make the case for why we should no longer vote for the R’s with a few exceptions.

NC Mountain Girl | September 27, 2015 at 7:33 pm

McConnell is a bigger problem than Boehner and Drudge is reporting that one member of the RNC executive committee has already asked for his ouster.

I suspect the internal poll numbers the various party committees are getting are terrible. So is the feedback the Senators up for reelection in 2016 are getting.

Boehner can talk all he wants about the Pope influencing his decision but that is delusional. What happened is that Meadows timed his motion for just before the House went into recess. Several conservative groups got behind Meadows and his colleagues got an earful when they went back to their districts. When they returned, a lot of them told Boehner “I love you, John. But if I support you again I’ll have primary challengers who have a volunteer base behind them.”

Who could replace Boehner?

A potato. Even a rotten one: it would do a better job.

Gowdy was careful not to say which side was the crazy side. not listening to the voters year after year might seem crazy to many people in a democratic system.

The conservatives in the house succedded in their goal of removing Boehner as speaker, but didn’t plan far enough ahead to have a candidate ready to replace him. Looks like Johnnie isn’t the only inept one. My problem with the far right leadership is that, after 4 years, they still can’t plan farther ahead than lunch.