Who Will Be the Next GOP Speaker?

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan finally admitted that the rumors were true, announcing his intention to step down at the end of the term and retire — rather than run for reelection in the 2018 midterms. Ryan’s decision means that even if the GOP does manage to hold onto a majority after the November election — an outcome even more in doubt now than it was just weeks ago — the party will be seeking a new speaker of the House when it reconvenes in 2019.

Or, if some GOP House members have their way, maybe even sooner.

With the party still reeling from Ryan’s official announcement that he will be leaving D.C., all ambitious House leaders are vying to take over the speakership — becoming the third, or possibly even second, most powerful Republican in office. And it’s a role that many are willing to do anything to win.

The leading contenders are Congressman Kevin Murphy of California and Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana, both staunch conservative leaders. Murphy has served as House majority leader since Eric Cantor lost his seat in a surprise upset in 2014, and already campaigned for the speakership when Ryan’s predecessor, Ohio Republican John Boehner, was ousted. Scalise is just one step lower than McCarthy in the House GOP hierarchy, and he gained a great deal of admiration and esteem after being critically shot by gunman during a Congressional baseball game.

And they both have considerable baggage. The Denver Post reports:

In 2014, Scalise was discovered to have addressed a white-supremacist group in 2002 founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Scalise apologized and said he’d been unaware of the group’s racial views. McCarthy suggested in 2015 that a House committee probing the deadly 2012 raid on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, had damaged Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers, undermining GOP arguments that the investigation wasn’t politically motivated. That raised questions about his ability as a communicator, a key for party leaders.

Both Murphy and Scalise are logical choices for a far-right successor. But would they be right-wing enough to appease everyone? Not a chance — which is why Freedom Caucus leader and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan has signaled his intention to run, too.

While Ryan has officially backed McCarthy as his favorite – and even Scalise has agreed that the Californian would be a logical and acceptable replacement — Jordan has made it clear that no one will simply be anointed and walk away with the position.

“There is no speaker’s race right now. Paul Ryan is the speaker,” Jordan said Friday, according to the Washington Post. “If and when there is, I’ve been urged by colleagues to consider that, and I am definitely open to that. Right now, though, the focus has got to be on the next six months, us keeping the majority.”

There may not be a speaker’s race right now, but not everyone thinks that’s the way it should be. Politico reports:

Several allies to speaker hopeful Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the majority leader, say House Republicans need to be united heading into the midterms, and that a leadership race could split the conference. Other Republicans are questioning whether having a lame-duck speaker at the helm of the Republican Conference will hurt their fundraising. “We would have more success if there’s no ambiguity as to what the leadership structure might look like,“ said Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), one of McCarthy’s closest allies, who is pushing for a vote to replace Ryan sooner rather than later. “Certainty is important. … From the conversations I’ve had, everybody wants our “A team” in place, our strongest team in place, so we have the strongest outcome going into the election cycle.”

Was Ryan’s decision to public support McCarthy as the next speaker just a ploy to keep McCarthy’s faction from ousting him immediately from his leadership role? If so, that may be the most successful negotiation Ryan has managed in his entire tenure as Speaker.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

34 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thank you for posting.

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Past Member
Past Member 7 months ago

noted

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Joan E
Joan E7 months ago

It will be a liar and a thief, I'll wager.

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Richard A
Richard A7 months ago

kevin murphy: Weasel-in-Waiting, and liar.
jim jordan: Super-Contentious-Con-Job, and liar.
steve scalise: slimy-typical-republican, liar.

What a mix.

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Winn A
Winn A7 months ago

Noted

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Winn A
Winn A7 months ago

Thanks

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Brian F
Brian F7 months ago

Most of the Democrats like that crook Diane Feinstein are refusing to support Medicare for all because they are crooks like the Republicans. This is why it is so asinine for people like Mike K and the other corporate fake Democrats on this site, to say the Democrats are any better than the Republicans. It was the horrible performance of the sellout liar Obama who gave us a horrible Republican healthcare plan, instead of Medicare for all like he promised, and sold the country out to Wall Street by taking $400,000 for a speech, as a reward for not prosecuting one banker. Obama's corrupt AG Eric Holder refused to legalize marijuana, and got a million dollar a year job, as a reward working for a law firm that defends bankers. So it was the horrible failed neo liberal policies of the Democrats like that sellout liar and crook Obama, which caused this crook Trump to be elected.

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Ciaron Drain
Ciaron Drain7 months ago

Well maybe they have a more suitable candidate as the previous GIP speakers have been what would be best described as Muppets, maybe they could have a real Muppet as it would garner far more respect that the previous Muppets they have. I would guess Miss Piggy may be suitable though her abuse of her partner may raise concerns so I suppose Oscar the Grouch or the Swedish Chef might be contenders, I know that the Swedish Chef did have issues with Mexican Bandito Lobsters so that may appeal to Trump's views and they do speak a similiar language and it is not Swedish.

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Anne Moran
Anne Moran7 months ago

Does it really matter who it will be ?? - 6 and a 1/2 dozen of the other,, as it will probably be, just another evildoer...

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Brian F
Brian F7 months ago

Mike K The Democrats horribly unfair super delegate rule, that gives the incumbent over 400 super delegates before even having a challenger, needs to end. The only reason your corrupt Democratic party has that rule, is to keep honest progressives like Bernie Sanders from winning. The Democrats recently fired all the progressives from the party, so they can continue their corruption. So this crook Trump is only part of the problem. Your corrupt corporate owned Democratic party is the other half of the problem. The Democrats have become corrupt like the Republicans, and are blocking Bernie Sanders from having any power so they can continue their corruption. This is why we need a third party, and Jill Stein.

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