Despite a last minute challenge from Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and a long shot bid from Daniel Webster (R-FL), McCarthy was widely seen as the most assured candidate on a slate of upcoming leadership elections. That all changed yesterday when McCarthy reversed course from his weeks long bid for the Speaker’s gavel and announced that he was withdrawing his name from consideration.
Referencing the need for a clean slate to heal the Republican Conference, he will instead remain in his current position as House Majority Leader. John Boehner, still Speaker of the House, quickly delayed the vote to replace himself to a date to be determined. He promised to serve in his current capacity until a suitable replacement is decided on. So Boehner remains Speaker, McCarthy is still Majority Leader and Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was vying to become Majority Leader, stays as House Whip.
Now, many Washington insiders are saying that Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) is being pressured behind the scenes to take up the Speaker’s gavel. Ryan, a former vice presidential nominee and chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, took his name out of the hat early on. However, he is influential and well-respected in the GOP caucus and many seem to believe he can be convinced.
With important debates on tax extenders, the highway bill, the debt ceiling, and another possible shutdown on the horizon, House Republicans must resolve their current infighting and prepare for a challenging fall. As the lawmakers responsible for determining the floor schedule, party policy and priorities, and even issues as mundane as committee assignments, the final result of the current leadership shuffle will significantly impact the multifamily industry.