Image 01 Image 03

Shocker! McCarthy Withdraws from Speaker Race

Shocker! McCarthy Withdraws from Speaker Race

Shock, chaos, confusion! WHO will lead the House now?!

This just in from The Hill:

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has dropped out of elections for House Speaker.

Republicans were to meet Thursday at noon to elect a new Speaker.

McCarthy had struggled to win over conservatives, and while he was the favorite to win the closed-door vote, he did not have the votes on the floor to win election.

McCarthy’s press conference is here:

Chaffetz is still running:

Paul Ryan, still not running:

Um, well, ok:

Wednesday, The Hill reported Rep. Jones not so subtly hinted some running for leadership might have a few skeletons in the closet. Could this have been a contributing factor in McCarthy’s sudden decision?

Thursday, McCarthy said the letter from Rep. Jones had no bearing on his decision.

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) wants to avoid the possibility of a member of the new House GOP leadership resigning from office because of a scandal.

In a letter to House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Jones asked that Republicans discuss urging candidates for leadership to drop out if they might one day embarrass the party because of past indiscretions.

“With all the voter distrust of Washington felt around the country, I’m asking that any candidate for Speaker of the House, majority leader, and majority whip withdraw himself from the leadership election if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference, and the House of Representatives if they become public,” Jones wrote.

Jones, who’s served in the House since 1995, offered former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston, who ran for Speaker in 1998, as examples. Both Gingrich and Livingston admitted to extramarital affairs.

…Jones is backing Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) for Speaker. Webster is considered a long shot against the front-runner McCarthy, who also faces Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, McCarthy clarified his previous comments on the House Select Committee on Benghazi saying, “he doesn’t want to be a distraction to the process.” Comments made by McCarthy during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity last week, though they were largely taken out of context, were circulated widely by Democrats who’ve long-held the Congressional investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attacks was nothing more than a partisan witch-hunt.

McCarthy’s remarks were used in Hillary Clinton’s inaugural presidential campaign ad this week.

Meanwhile, we’re all:


With such a factious House, it’s virtually impossible to predict who has the popularity, likability, and clout whip the requisite 218 votes to win the gavel.

Let the games begin! Again.

Also likely:

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Can you say “meh” with an exclamation point…???

JimMtnViewCaUSA | October 8, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Change is coming.

It’s a tough job.

The new Speaker *still* won’t be able to move legislation that the RINOiest 10% of House Republicans won’t go along with; *still* won’t be able to impeach anyone that the RINOiest 10% of House Republicans won’t go along with; and so on.

And President Obama will still just ignore the law and moon Congress while wiping his *ahem*. Well, you get the idea.

We can really start fixing things when we’ve got: (1) Someone with an (R) after his name at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, or (2) 67 Senators.

Without one of those things happening, our House Speaker is just the guy we blame for not going out on the beach and ordering the tide to stop coming in.

    Valerie in reply to clintack. | October 8, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    RINOs or not, the majorities in both Houses of Congress are not veto-proof.

    Blaming people who agree with you most of the time is a very effective way to ensure you don’t get any of your agenda.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to clintack. | October 8, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I’d like to see Congress pass Appropriations bills instead of those monster omnibus keep-gov-alive measures. Make Obama veto them.

      But to do that you need 60 votes in the senate.

        stevewhitemd in reply to Milhouse. | October 8, 2015 at 4:08 pm

        No, actually you don’t. Robert Byrd fixed that a couple decades back. Appropriations bills, handled by ‘reconciliation’, can’t be filibustered.

          Milhouse in reply to stevewhitemd. | October 8, 2015 at 7:54 pm

          Byrd didn’t introduce reconciliation bills; on the contrary, he restricted their use. But you can’t have a reconciliation bill without a reconciliation instruction in the budget resolution, which can be filibustered.

    heyjoojoo in reply to clintack. | October 8, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    What can Congress do against an Executive Order?
    I think they have little or no power against that. This president has shown that he will use executive orders to override Congress.

      Milhouse in reply to heyjoojoo. | October 8, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      Executive orders are not laws; they’re just the president’s instructions to his employees, and they must comply with the law.

        heyjoojoo in reply to Milhouse. | October 8, 2015 at 8:34 pm

        But doesn’t an executive order “act” like a law? I think it does take away some power from the legislative body.

        The People will not have much say in what happens with executive orders. I think the issue is how will Congress react or respond to Obama executive orders.

          tom swift in reply to heyjoojoo. | October 9, 2015 at 8:05 am

          But doesn’t an executive order “act” like a law?

          No. An Executive Order is a set of instructions to the people and departments of the Executive branch of government; similar to a corporate CEO issuing instructions to all employees about company policies.

          A good example was President Taft’s EO of 1912 fixing the colors and dimensions of the United States flag. That EO did not establish legal standards for all US flags; it directed government purchasing departments to buy flags of specific size, colors (no more gold stars, a popular option in earlier days), etc. The practical effect was, in many ways, much like a law: since the big flag customers, such as the US military and all Post Offices, thereafter bought flags to that specification, manufacturers gravitated toward those specs for all their US flags. But there is no legal mechanism to coerce them to do so.

          I think the issue is how will Congress react or respond to Obama executive orders.

          So far, Congress has not done a very good job of protecting its own authority.

          tom swift in reply to heyjoojoo. | October 9, 2015 at 8:37 am

          But …

          EOs can control non-legislative bodies which have been granted, by legislation, regulatory powers. And those powers can be abused by EOs.

          Example: The FTC regulates imports. This was originally intended to give the new Federal government power to impose import duties, which were one of the government’s major revenue streams. It also allowed protective tariffs to be determined and imposed, with the goal of protecting American industries in specific cases. However, that authority can be perverted towards further non-financial regulation. The FTC and its personnel are part of the Executive; so an EO can direct the FTC to prohibit certain imports, and do so at Executive whim. If the EO directs the FTC or some similar body to stop allowing imports of, say, firearms, then no more can be legally imported. However, the Legislature can respond by removing the authority it originally granted to the FTC to regulate imports.

          A simpler example, though not relevant to the Feds, is highway speed limits. A state legislature sets speed limits on public roads; but of course no committee of legislators visits each road to determine the appropriate speed limit. Instead it passes off authority for speed limit determination to, often, the Colonel of the State Police. The Colonel, in turn, delegates it some other committee which worries about the details for all the state’s public roads. But in principle, the Colonel could order them all to impose a 15 mph maximum on all roads. The Legislature could then remove the Colonel’s authority and assign it instead to someone more sensible.

      The House can starve the treason out of Obama. Controlling the purse strings is a hell of a power.

      But look at the corrupt cowards we tolerate leading the GOP. That s-bag Boehner has to go, and quick.

      Starve the GOP and donate lavishly to the Tea Party:

    Can’t agree. The bully pulpit of the Speaker of the House is something to behold in the times we are living in: that is, people are desperate for leadership to stop the lunatic living in the White House.

    The next Speaker just might steal the thunder from Donald Trump, if he or she has a pair. It’s simply there for the pickings. So easy, yet so many corrupt cowards at the top of the GOP.

Maybe the Senate Republicans will grow some backbone and toss their sorry GOP leadership out of the Chamber. Naw, they are not smart enough.

As for Webster being speaker, he was the first Repiblican speaker here in the Florida House and is known as a man of integrity and conservative ideals. Beside, he beat Alan Grayson for Congress.

“Shock, chaos, confusion! WHO will lead the House now?!”

The muffin man? lol

Henry Hawkins | October 8, 2015 at 1:44 pm

We’re watching the slow but inevitable takeover of the GOP from the GOPe by the GOP conservative caucus. We’re watching the results of Tea Party philosophy and political work. We’re watching change you can actually believe in.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | October 8, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Better be…

    rinardman in reply to Henry Hawkins. | October 8, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Henry gets my vote for Optimist of the Day.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to rinardman. | October 8, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Politics is a jungle, no where more so than in Washington DC. The GOPe has shown it is willing to knowingly lie to GOP members about their post-election plans and that they will not undertake any fight that has even the slightest chance of causing them backlash. They would take only wins handed to them. Well, the Dems certainly did not miss this utter reluctance to try to fight – nor did the conservative caucus. You’re watching hundreds of GOPe aligned House members and the entire leadership getting their asses kicked by 40-50 House conservatives.

      I felt this was coming, but I thought it might take until after the 2018 midterms to see this kind of power exerted.

      What do folks think about Paul Ryan for Speaker? He’s being pressured big time and he has changed his public response from ‘no’ to ‘no comment’, plus he has cancelled his fund raisers and other non-House business for the next two days. Hmmm….

      It is absolutely critical we get a conservative in the White House in 2016.

      Barry in reply to rinardman. | October 8, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      I hope Henry is correct.

      I do not believe the GOPe will go quietly into the night however. They really don’t care who is in the leadership positions as long as it is from the big donor class.

      The GOPe will burn the country down before losing control. We have to help them. “From the ashes a fire shall be woken…”

    Anonamom in reply to Henry Hawkins. | October 8, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    I sure hope you’re right, Mr. Hawkins.

    (And can I just say how much fun I’ve had watching Mr. I’ve-spent-my-entire-adult-life-in-D.C.-and-have-no-clue-about-reality implode?)

    It turns out the death throes of the GOPe will be far wilder than those of the Democrats, if only because conservatives are basically all by themselves, while the Dems have all of media, pop culture, academentia, etc. on their side. And as for Drudge’s headline yesterday about the “House in chaos,” it is not the House. It’s the rotten GOP establishment RINOs screaming and writhing in agony that they don’t automatically get their way anymore.

    Turns out all our efforts in 2010 (especially) and 2012 actually are bearing some fruit…the efforts to destroy the TP via the IRS notwithstanding.

Sammy Finkelman | October 8, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.)

I’m asking that any candidate for Speaker of the House, majority leader, and majority whip withdraw himself from the leadership election if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference, and the House of Representatives if they become public.

Only since joining Congress??

What happened since joining Congress, other Congressmen probably know. Unless it’s a secret job offer maybe.

It’s what happened before where there are the real scandals.

Sammy Finkelman | October 8, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Is it possible maybe nobody will get a majority?

Chafetz’s plan actually was to come in second and lose among the Republicans, then, when MCCarthy’s name was put up on the House floor, and 30 to 50 House Republicans did not vote for him as Speaker, present himself as a compromise candidate. (30 to 50 have indicate dthey might break ranks on the House floor, and the Republican nominee can’t lose more than 28 votes unless he gets support from Democrats.)

This could be prolonged.

Sammy Finkelman | October 8, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Jason Chaffetz’s father was married to Kitty Dukakis, and they had a son, John, who is Jason Chaffetz’ half-brother.
After they divorced, they both married non-Jews.

They remained somewhat close, and Jason Chafetz managed Michael Dukakis’s 1988 campaign in Utah, more out of personal family obligation than conviction. Dukakis had an almost zero chance of carrying Utah, and that would only have happened as part of a national landslide.

Somebody might think this is embarassing. It probably won’t be a problem unless the Democrats really do go back to Michael Dukakis for their nominee, and maybe not even then.

    Erudite Mavin in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | October 8, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Old news.
    Chaffetz has been a Republican for decades unlike Trump who has spent the majority of his life as a Democrat and cheerleader for Obama along with funding Hillary, Pelosi Harry Reid etc.

NC Mountain Girl | October 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm

I wasn’t at all surprised by this. I suspected it might happen when I read that Trey Gowdy openly criticized McCarthy yesterday. You didn’t have to be a member of the Freedom Caucus to know that McCarthy’s loose tongue had handed Hillary a gift.

There will be mounting pressure on Trey Gowdy, who does not want the job. He is one of the better known figures who seems to be acceptable to both sides.

    I read the Washington Post article on Gowdy regarding that. Gowdy considered McCarthy a friend but was having a “With friends like these…” moment, publicly. (This is easy to understand – McCarthy chucked lots of hard work on Gowdy’s part down the drain, and Rep. Louise Slaughter tried to have the committee closed via amendment (which failed), but the Dems are threatening to leak closed doors testimony in full – no redactions for national security – as a game of chicken to force Gowdy to shut it down if he cares about the nation’s secrets.)

..Just last night I saw a message sent by a congressman who is too little known for his name to remain in my memory, to the effect that anyone running for Speaker who has a skeleton in his closet that would bring himself, the position and the Republican Party into disrepute should get out of the race ASAP.

In the comments an individual made the claim that this referred to Kevin McCarthy and that he had some ‘adventures’ that were open secrets on the Hill, but not known to the rest of us. I have no evidence that’s connected to this shocking withdrawal, but it sure made me wonder.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to JBourque. | October 8, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    In 1999, Bob Livingston was all set to succeed Newt Gingrich as Speaker when he abruptly withdrew because of a story of an affair unearthed by Larry Flynt. With Bill Clinton’s impeachment on the agenda, he wanted someone who was scandal free in charge.

    As it turned out, his supposedly squeaky clean replacement, Denny Hastert, was not only a member of the same corrupt “Illinois Combine” that spawned Barack Obama, he was also being blackmailed by one of the students he had coached in high school wrestling.

      Thanks, and I had just heard before returning to this page.

      Reaction #1: At least make it an aide or a secretary. I know the Hill is incestuous, but a fellow congresswoman?

      Reaction #2: Wait a minute. Isn’t this the lady who’s a very loud anti-Tea Party figure who played a prominent role in ensuring Planned Parenthood funding isn’t seriously threatened? The one who has been beating down the doors to get onto a committee investigating Planned Parenthood to give her political cover? And she’s been sleeping with the until-an-hour-ago Next Speaker of the House?

      Reaction #3: And Kevin was running anyway?

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JBourque. | October 9, 2015 at 2:10 am

        This just shows what a snake McCarthy is. He would have taken that speakership if he could get it, knowing full well he was putting the entire GOP, conservatives and RINOs alike, in political jeopardy for ’16. He and Ellmers should both step down – not because of the affair, but because of their blatant disregard for our future political success. Losers both.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to WI4Walker. | October 8, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      E-mail sent to [email protected] by MCCarthy’s lawyers:

      It says there is absolutely no basis for their suggestions and they are causing great injury to Mrs. Ellmers and her family.

buckeyeminuteman | October 8, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Because of his loose tongue, McCarthy needs beat with a rubber hose. Hillary’s going to be bringing his gaffe up for the next 10 years as to why she lost in 2016.

    Buckeye, if she loses because of that comment then more power to McCarthy. But Benghazi investigation has nothing to do with her campaign and everything to do with her vicious ineptness.

Hey, Boys and Girls~ The long slog for true conservatives to wrest power from the hands of the GOPe is a marathon, not a sprint.

NC Mountain Girl | October 8, 2015 at 4:34 pm

Here is another indication of what may be going on behind the scenes in the Republican Caucus. Yesterday Trey Gowdy sent a blistering 13 page letter to ranking Democrat and Democrat apologist, Elijah Cummings.

Sammy Finkelman | October 8, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Some key facts:

1) Boehner has not officially submitted his resignation. He could, theoretically, at least, stay longer. But this is still expected to be resolved by the original date.

2) The members of the Freedom Caucus could make a motion to vacate the chair. If Democrats go along with it, that would make the Speakership vacant. If the position of Speaker becomes vacant, the House can not conduct any other business until a Speaker is elected, not even a motion to adjourn. The members of the Freedom Caucus don’t seem disposed to make such a motion.

    If Boehner had any integrity, he’d open up his stomach, and thus leave the Squeaker position open for a real man or woman.

    Instead, he’s continuing his enabling of Obama, and stabbing his party in the back.

    What a sick, alcoholic bastard.

    Boehner will have at least one thing in common with his extorter Obama: both their names will live in infamy as derogatory nouns.