With Speaker John Boehner set to step down and presumptive nominee Kevin McCarthy surprisingly dropping out of the race, the House of Representatives’ GOP caucus has been in a disarray. Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan has emerged as possibly the only congressman who could get enough votes to secure the nomination, but he claims to not want the job â€“ though he has not yet officially ruled out a run. Thus, the atmosphere in the House remains tense.
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Over two dozen representatives have indicated that they would seek the nomination to replace Boehner as Speaker. In doing so, they have largely made sure to clarify that they will only move forward with the process if Ryan chooses not to run. Challenging Ryan, who serves as chairman of the Ways and Means committee, would most likely prove disastrous considering his high profile in Congress.
Members of Congress embarked on a week-long recess, meaning that they will not reconvene until next Tuesday. Since any nominee for the Speaker position would have to secure an almost unanimous vote from the entire Republican caucus, the race to fill Boehner’s shoes will have to wait until then.
Meanwhile, Ryan remains tight-lipped about whether he has moved any closer to accepting or rejecting the responsibility. Ryan’s spokesman Brendan Buck on Monday made it clear that we shouldn’t expect any news on the matter this week:
Before you ask, nothing has changed and I don't anticipate any news this week.
— Brendan Buck (@BrendanBuck) October 12, 2015
Several influential committee chairs have put their names on the list of potential successors to Boehner, including Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores, who echoed the pro-Ryan sentiment. â€śIt is important for me to unequivocally state that I will not run for and/or I will withdraw from this race should Chairman Ryan elect to run; and, I will give him my full support in this effort,â€ť Flores wrote in a letter to the House Republican Conference.