The Race for House Speaker Has Republicans “Audibly Crying”

The GOP just entered full meltdown mode.

<a href=http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/CQPHO-AP-A-POL-DC-United-States-Boehner-Resignation/3613e10e6974428b835f0217a039e280/2/0>Bill Clark</a>/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


The House GOP now has a full-blown leadership crisis on its hands. As Republican lawmakers gathered on Thursday to elect a new speaker, John Boehner’s presumptive heir for the top spot, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), unexpectedly bowed out of the race, telling his colleagues he was “not the guy.” Boehner—who reportedly joked recently, “I had this terrible nightmare last night that I was trying to get out and I couldn’t get out”—was forced to postpone the vote for his successor. Lawmakers who were present for the closed-door meeting reported a scene of “chaos” that included “audible crying.”

Boehner, who promised before the 2014 election that he would tame his fractious party, shocked the capital last month by announcing he was resigning from Congress. But there were still plenty of candidates to fill the top job—or so we thought. McCarthy, as the House GOP’s No. 2 man and a prodigious fundraiser, immediately became the front-runner for Boehner’s job, despite speculation that he would have no easier time wrangling the Freedom Caucus, the rebellious group of right-wingers who frequently were a thorn in Boehner’s side.

With McCarthy out, it’s unclear who will fill the leadership void. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who was not previously thought of as as a serious candidate for the job (apparently even by himself), is still in the running. And the Freedom Caucus has put forward Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) for the speakership. But neither Chaffetz nor Webster appear to have enough backers to win the speakership. Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who is highly regarded by his colleagues, has made it plain that he has no interest in the job. At the moment, it looks like Boehner’s nightmare may indeed come true.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate