Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (R-Ohio) is postponing House GOP elections for majority leader and whip at the behest of conservatives.
House Republicans had been scheduled to vote behind closed doors Thursday for the two positions, but will now just vote on electing a Speaker to replace Boehner at that time.
Votes on a new majority leader and whip will not take place until after the full House votes to elect a new Speaker on Oct. 29 — the day before Boehner is to finish up as Speaker.
It's possible those elections won't take place at all.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyWhite House debates vaccines for air travel McCarthy on Dems' spending bill: 'The amount of money we spent to win World War II' Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE (R-Calif.) is favored to win the Speakership vote, but Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE (R-Utah) insists the leader won't have the 218 votes necessary to win on the floor. Chaffetz on Sunday announced a late bid for the job. Rep. Daniel WebsterDaniel Alan WebsterLaura Loomer says she's tested positive for COVID-19 How Donald Rumsfeld helped save the presidency Gun deaths surge in Iowa ahead of loosened handgun restrictions MORE (R-Fla.) is also running.
While the Speaker nominee will only need 124 votes to win the internal GOP conference election, they must secure 218 votes during the House floor vote. It's possible conservatives determined to prevent McCarthy from winning could withhold support at that time.
Twenty-five conservatives voted against Boehner on the floor in January — only three short of the maximum defections McCarthy or any other Speaker nominee could lose.
If McCarthy doesn't win, he'd keep his majority leader job, and Rep. Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate Overnight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Republicans ask FDA for details on any White House pressure on boosters MORE (R-La.) would stay in his present position as House majority whip.
"This new process will ensure House Republicans have a strong, unified team to lead our conference and focus on the American people’s priorities," Boehner said in a statement explaining the changes.
The change to the leadership election process could hurt Scalise's bid for majority leader against House Budget Committee Chairman Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Former Georgia ethics official to challenge McBath A proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US MORE (R-Ga.) since conservatives will now have more time to possibly field another candidate. Scalise told supporters Sunday evening that he had secured enough votes to win the race.
Some Republicans are also pushing changes to House GOP conference rules. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) wants all leadership candidates to resign their current posts in order to run for a promotion. Republicans may vote on such a rule change as early as this week.