House Conservatives Make a Play for Influence in Race to Succeed Ryan

House Conservatives Make a Play for Influence in Race to Succeed Ryan

House Conservatives Make a Play for Influence in Race to Succeed Ryan

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), (center), speaks to the media while flanked by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), (right), and House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise (R-LA) (left), after a meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill, on March 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. Disconcertingly for the GOP, Trump's unpopularity and early Democratic momentum leave it unclear whether Ryan's replacement will be speaker or minority leader. "I'm not saying every single person in Congress".

House Republicans' second in command - to succeed him as speaker, in an interview with NBC. Now McCarthy needs to work hard to win over the House Freedom Caucus, the most conservative faction among House Republicans, numbering 40 members.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise speaks after the weekly House Republican Conference meeting March 20
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise speaks after the weekly House Republican Conference meeting March 20

Ryan also batted back concerns that McCarthy's run for speaker may end up like it did in 2015, when the California Republican dropped out of the speaker's race despite being the frontrunner because not enough members voiced support for his candidacy.

Ryan and his allies have been trying to head off a power struggle within the House GOP in the wake of his retirement announcement, which comes as the party is fighting to cling to its majority after November congressional elections.

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"Whip Scalise's focus remains on moving our conservative agenda forward and maintaining our Republican majority", said Chris Bond, a spokesman for the Louisiana Republican. He replaced Eric Cantor as majority leader in 2014 after the Virginian unexpectedly lost a primary for his House seat and quit. Ryan plans to make his endorsement official in an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday.

"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.

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The 53-year-old was first elected to the House of Representatives in California's 22nd District in 2006 with more than 70% of the vote.

Other Republicans, such as New York Representative Peter King, expressed wariness about the bid by conservatives, who've pressed the party not to compromise with Democrats.

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