Skip to comments.The GOP Leadership Scramble
Posted on 06/11/2014 2:11:47 AM PDT by nickcarraway
House Majority Leader Eric Cantors stunning loss to his tea party challenger on Tuesday will create the biggest disruption for GOP lawmakers since the departure of Tom DeLay eight years ago, and throws open the question of who will be the next speaker after John Boehner leaves.
Its unclear how long Boehner plans to stay on, or whether Cantors defeat will alter the Ohio Republicans thinking on his own future. There has been speculation for months that Boehner could step down after Election Day, or before the end of the next Congress, with Cantor in place as his certain successor.
Now, with Cantors shocking defeat, the GOP succession question for the after Boehner period is wide open, and Republicans will spend at least the next five months jockeying for a newly open spot at the leadership table.
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, the current No. 3 in the House, is all but certain to run for the majority leader post, GOP sources said. McCarthys office declined to comment on Cantors loss or McCarthys plans.
But the California Republican likely will be challenged by a member of the conservative wing of the House GOP Conference, potentially including Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Jim Jordan of Ohio or Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.
And a full-scale war will break out for majority whip, with Scalise, McMorris Rodgers and Reps. Pete Roskam (R-Ill.) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas) all possibilities for that post.
Roskam had already started unofficially running for whip, if the job came open. A GOP aide said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) decided to officially seek the whip job after receiving a number of calls Tuesday night from conservatives in the party urging him to run after Cantor lost. GOP Rep. Paul Ryan is next in line for the Ways and Means Committee gavel and has said he wasnt running for leadership, a stance he may now have to rethink.
Other leadership hopefuls could also emerge, especially among freshmen or sophomore members, although some of the most visible members those classes are running for Senate, leaving Congress or have other roles at this time. This group includes Reps. Jim Lankford (R-Okla.), who is running for Senate; Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), another Senate hopeful; Tim Griffin (R-Ark.); and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who is chairing the Benghazi select committee.
Yet Cantors pending disappearance from the top Republican ranks, coupled with questions over Boehners future, mean this leadership scramble could decide who runs the GOP Conference for the next decade, similar to how the Boehner-Roy Blunt battle to replace Tom DeLay played out in 2006.
Boehner, of course, won that fight and eventually became speaker when Republicans took back the House in 2010. For those Republicans eyeing leadership runs, the lessons from that fight could tempt them to go for the brass ring now, or risk losing out to a more ambitious rival and facing long-term fallout.
Youve seen the shadow campaigns that get talked about all the time but then [members] deny it, said a former Republican leadership staffer.
Tomorrow, youre going to start hearing that people are seriously considering a run. It will be blown up. By the end of the week, were going to see who is interested and who is not.
This flushes out the Hensarlings and the Jordans. If they say they are not interested, then they are not interested and the conference has to move on. Its important to make sure the conference has time to move on and vet a leader, the former staffer added.
Republicans were stunned by Cantors defeat, as was all of Capitol Hill. Cantor had spent part of the day in House leadership meetings and on the floor dealing with a 2015 spending bill, and his staff and allies expressed total confidence that he would win. Cantors office had already released a memo outlining the June voting schedule, and his aides were trying to assemble an even longer-range floor schedule.
Eric Cantor and I have been through a lot together. Hes a good friend and a great leader, and someone Ive come to rely upon on a daily basis as we make the tough choices that come with governing, Boehner said in a statement late Tuesday night. My thoughts are with him and Diana and their kids tonight. McMorris Rodger also praised Cantor, saying it was an honor to work with him.
Ive known Eric since I first came to Congress, and hes been a great friend and colleague. It is a true honor serving with him as a leader for both the people of Virginia and America. My thoughts are with Eric, Diana, and their family, she said.
When the news broke on Tuesday evening, House members were still in the Capitol for a series of evening votes. The results began trickling in showing Cantor losing, which led to the unthinkable question, What if Cantor loses? Cantors loss could also dramatically alter the Republican legislative agenda for the next five months. Cantor had been scrambling to craft GOP health care bill to replace Obamacare trying to piece together plans from wide corners of the party that could win support from a majority of Republicans. GOP leadership aides were tentatively planning for a series of health care related votes following the July 4th recess.
If a number of Republican Study Committee members hop into the race, it could raise the prominence of their health care alternative. Scalise launched a push just last month to pressure Cantor to schedule a vote on that bill.
Immigration reform will be another victim of the loss. Cantor was a moderate supporter of Republican plans to overhaul the current system a point Brat used against him in the race. With such a high-profile sacrifice, its likely that even moderate Republicans will back away from reform or risk being labeled amnesty backers.
Now would be a good time for Boehner to saddle his and depart.
The loss by Cantor will have the net effect of re invigorating the TEA Party.
TEA Party members are a diverse, loosely knit group of Americans who are America’s last bastion of citizens who ascribe to Americas traditional values of personal and fiscal responsibility
They have been beaten down and demoralized by both the Obama Administrations attacks and abuse of the IRS and by attacks from the Republican Party leadership and the Republicans flat refusal to effectively use the massive Republican gains they gave in 2010.
Many have given up on politics.
That may just have changed.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers is no conservative.
Can I have the GOP Leadership scramble with OJ and a side of toast.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership whose stated goal is to destroy conservative, Tea Party-aligned candidates.
I am one of them...
I left my local tea party group because it became a “circle jerk” where everyone sat around and talked about the “bad” stuff in government but really had to plan to get from A to Z...
The tea “party” is going to have to be that... A party that identifies, vets and FINANCIALLY supports A (ONE) candidate to beat the incumbent ...
They were not nearly as radical as I was... lol
I am uncertain if this will draw me back in...
I wish Sugarland would put up Tom DeLay. I’d like him as speaker of the House.
Can’t think of one Republican is a leadership position I’d keep given a choice.
Cantor, Boehner, McConnel?
What a bunch of worthless tax and spend LOSERs.
Dems pick their leaders from deep blue districts - which is appropriate. We pug forth moderates from swing districts instead of red districts. The squish party!
People eyes will improve when looking at her or Nancy
The Rhino’s and the Tea Party better get the crap together or they will lose the senate and the house. Demodummies are stacking the deck against them once again and the “repubs” don’t seem to see the forest for the trees.
Do you still think we are not getting the votes to secede on June 12, 2018?
How would a far left Dem party website know a thing about the Gop?
Leftico hates the Gop.
“But the California Republican likely will be challenged by a member of the conservative wing of the House GOP Conference, potentially including Reps. . . . Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.”
What’s this Polutico writer been smoking? McMorris/Rodgers is conservative just like Barney Frank is straight.
But nary a word for the WINNER of the Republican primary.
Boner is SLIME.
"The tea party is going to have to be that... A party that identifies, vets and FINANCIALLY supports A (ONE) candidate to beat the incumbent
I think we are better off if we leave the Tea Party as a set of ideals instead of as an actual political entity or affiliation. If tea party comes to mean ideas and methods of reducing government and strengthening individual freedoms, then it will be a lot harder for it to become the tool of monied interests, nor will it become part of the establishment. Both of which are the antithesis of what tea party is.
When Tea Party (caps intentional) plays at being an actual political entity it is subject to the same rules and influences as the rest of establishment politics, and subject as well to insurgencies.
I could not agree more.
That's what it "is" in my opinion. You really don't join a party, it's a grassroots group who share small government and more freedom "ideals" basically.
I like the underground guerrilla conspiracy type relationship to the establishment for the tea party. Really hard to do battle against a thought process.