Gowdy: No interest in being Speaker

A Tea Party group wants Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyBenghazi panel interviews drone pilots after standoff with Pentagon Clinton’s email troubles deepen Benghazi report out within next month, chairman promises MORE to challenge John BoehnerJohn BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE for the Speaker’s gavel. A fellow Republican says Gowdy would certainly have his support. 

But the conservative South Carolina Republican says he has no interest in becoming Speaker when lawmakers cast their vote on the House floor next month. 

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“Rep. Gowdy has said his time and attention will continue to be devoted to the work assigned to him,” said Gowdy’s spokeswoman, Amanda Duvall. “He is not interested in any leadership positions and believes one can have influence without the title.” 

This past spring, BoehnerJohn BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE (R-Ohio) appointed Gowdy as chairman of the special House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. And Boehner recently said Gowdy would remain in that high-profile post in the 114th Congress as well. 

Still, that hasn’t soothed the Tea Party Leadership Fund, which launched an online campaign to draft Gowdy for Speaker. 

“The American people are desperately looking for leadership to reverse the disastrous course Barack ObamaBarack ObamaObama: 'Stop to reflect' on Memorial Day John Bolton slams Obama’s ‘shameful apology tour’ Miss. governor to join lawsuit against Obama transgender policy MORE and the Democrats have plunged our country down,” one of the group’s leaders, Rusty Humphries, said in a fundraising email this week. “We need Speaker of the House Trey Gowdy.” 

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), an outspoken Boehner critic, said in a local radio interview he didn’t think Gowdy would be willing to take on Boehner, but added: “If he offered himself, I would be willing to support him.” 

After the November midterms, House Republicans huddled behind closed doors and voted to give Boehner another two years as Speaker. But he faces one more test on Jan. 6, when all members must call out their choice for Speaker on the House floor. 

In the radio interview, which was flagged by BuzzFeed, Jones said a group of 16 to 18 House Republicans were plotting to oust Boehner during the public floor vote. But with Boehner’s historic 247-seat majority next year, his detractors would need at least 30 votes to force a second ballot.

“We’re gonna have a conference call the week after Christmas with our little group to see where we are,” Jones said.