House Speaker Ryan endorses McCarthy as successor - NBC interview

Paul Ryan Backing Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker

Paul Ryan Backing Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker

House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed his second-in-command, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, to succeed him. "One of the reasons why I was comfortable making this decision is because we have a very capable leadership team". "I think Kevin's the right guy to step up". 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. Thanks to his safely red Central Valley seat, he has been able to dole out most of that money to other candidates, including Golden State colleagues who are seen as some of the most vulnerable House members in the country. He and McCarthy are expected to wage a furious effort to raise campaign funds for fellow House Republicans to shore up support for their potential leadership aspirations.

Keven McCarthy in his Washington D.C. office in 2012, when the U.S. Government was being closed down as a tactic by the Republicans during the Obama presidency.

"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.

Whoever wins the speakership needs a simple majority of the entire House - about 218 votes.

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The leader of the conservative group, Rep. Mark Meadows, has said relations with McCarthy have since improved.

"Right now, we all need to be focused on getting our job done, getting our economy back on track, working with [President] Trump to continue on the progress we've made, and then make sure we hold the majority", said Scalise in a statement.

There was no immediate response from the offices of McCarthy or Scalise on Jordan's possible candidacy. "Jim has the right to run, Freedom Caucus has a role to play in the party, I just think that they've overplayed their hand". McCarthy remains a close friend and advisor of President Trump, and it is unlikely the Freedom Caucus would seek a fight with the President.

That could mean that a candidate with a solid bloc of votes, even if he or she were to finish third in the initial vote, might have the influence with his or her backers to give another candidate a margin of victory - possibly in return for support for another Republican post, a seat at the leadership table. Should the party lose its majority, the top Republican would be minority leader.

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