Paul Ryan endorses Rep. Kevin McCarthy to succeed him as speaker

Paul Ryan endorses Rep. Kevin McCarthy to succeed him as speaker

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) should assume the speakership in January 2019.

"We all believe Kevin is the right person, we all think Kevin is the right person", Ryan said.

Neither McCarthy nor Scalise has announced he will run for speaker.

"Certainly, his leaving will create a real vacuum", stated the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Representative Mark Meadows (R-N.C.).

"Paul's staying all the way through and we've got our work cut out for us to continue to work to keep the majority and a lot of legislation to get done", added McCarthy.

Scalise has said he wouldn't run against McCarthy, a longtime friend. Republicans were left reeling over who will replace him and whether Ryan's lame-duck status will jeopardize the GOP's pitch to voters and donors.

Ryan told NBC that he felt comfortable leaving the House partly because of the quality of the leadership team behind him. "Second, if we elect a Democratic majority to the House, the Speaker will be a Democrat".




But just because Scalise appeared to defer to McCarthy doesn't mean the race will play out that way.

He'll leave amid a tough uphill battle for Republicans as Democrats intend to wrestle back control of the House in the midterm elections this November.

Scalise and Jordan combined can deny McCarthy the necessary votes.

McCarthy has a close relationship with President Donald Trump and has been angling for the job of speaker for years, trying unsuccessfully to succeed John Boehner.

Many pundits had speculated that Ryan might contemplate retirement after having ushered the most comprehensive tax reform legislation since the Reagan administration through Congress.

"It's an honor that our congressman's name is top on the list, and we all hope for an announcement by Kevin that he will seek the Speakership of the House". Rumblings from the conservative Freedom Caucus that he wasn't conservative enough led McCarthy to withdraw his bid hours before his Republican colleagues were set to cast a vote.

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