Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Paul Ryan endorses Kevin McCarthy to succeed him as speaker

Paul Ryan endorses Kevin McCarthy to succeed him as speaker

But one thing is clear: If the showdown between California Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise for House speaker is a popularity contest, it will be tight.

A six-month budget truce stitched together by Congress in March could unravel if Republican leaders vying to replace US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan indulge party conservatives who want to renege on critical parts of the pact. By all, Ryan said he was referring to his leadership team.

Ryan said on Wednesday that he would not seek re-election in November, dealing a blow to fellow Republicans and President Donald Trump before the congressional elections.

But Representative Jim Jordan of OH, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus and a leading congressional critic of the Justice Department's and FBI's handling of the Russia-Trump investigation, said Friday he is considering a bid for a leadership post. "I've never run against Kevin and wouldn't run against Kevin", Scalise told Fox News on Thursday.

Ultimately, Ryan's endorsement is symbolic, but it also carries a lot of weight among rank-and-file House Republicans.

The Freedom Caucus, which numbers about three dozen House members, has always been critical of McCarthy, even though he's close to President Donald Trump.

If Democrats gain seats as expected in the November elections, Republican losses likely will fall most heavily among moderates representing swing districts. Scalise apologized and said he'd been unaware of the group's racial views. "Bad idea", said Republican representative Charlie Dent. "When a speaker's race is called, he'll be supporting Leader McCarthy". Some conservative House members were unhappy with him.

"I fully anticipate handing the gavel over to the next Speaker of the House after this term, and I think Kevin's the right guy to step up", Ryan continued. McCarthy ran for Speaker in 2015 following the resignation of Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) but withdrew from the race at the last minute and Ryan was elected. He was the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in 2012.

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