Following the news that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (WI-1) was not seeking re-election in the 2018 midterms, predictions were being made of who would succeed the ten-term congressman and former vice presidential nominee. However, some Republicans believe that making the decision after the election would not serve the best needs in the House and that Ryan should be forced out of the leadership position sooner.
In a report from Axios, one source close to Ryan said, “Scuttlebutt is that Paul will have to step down from speakership soon. Members won’t follow a lame duck, he’ll have no leverage to cut deals, and the last thing they need in this environment is 6 months of palace intrigue and everyone stabbing everyone else in the back.”
Another senior Republican lawmaker seemed to think the speaker would be, “gone by the end of July.”
Some are speculating that big conservative donors, who have funneled Ryan millions this election cycle, may not want him to keep his position through the beginning of next year if the party at-large is in troubled waters during the 2018 midterm election.
Presumably, the game is now about stability. If the party waits until after the November elections, every move from whomever is vying for the position will be viewed as gunning for Ryan’s job.
Now, one must ask, what does President Trump think or does he even weigh in on the matter?
The current two favorites for the job of speaker are: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA-1).
Trump adores McCarthy, consulting with him on a frequent basis. Nevertheless, some claim that if Trump decides to back the California lawmaker, the Freedom Caucus will hold that over the president.
With Scalise, he’s tough and widely popular – things Trump loves.
The path for either congressman being tapped for speaker will ultimately go through the Freedom Caucus. Therefore, McCarthy or Scalise will have to offer some type of deal that could involve Freedom Caucus members getting the top slots on committees.