Business & Lobbying

Pelosi: ‘I’m sure they’ll find somebody’

Greg Nash

House Republicans are racing frantically to find a viable replacement for outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in the wake of Thursday’s shocking decision by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to drop out of the race.

But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she’s confident they’ll figure it out.

“It’s a great job. It has great opportunity and I’m sure they’ll find somebody who is capable of accepting the honor,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol, according to her office.

{mosads}Asked if she’s sure someone will step up to fill the void, she said, ‘I hope.'”

Pelosi, who wielded the gavel from 2007 to 2011 as the country’s first female Speaker, is expected to get an overwhelming majority of Democratic support when the House votes to replace Boehner — a process scheduled for Oct. 29.

Some pundits have floated the notion that Pelosi and the Democrats could cut a deal with GOP leaders — or leadership candidates — to secure Boehner’s replacement in the face of a conservative Republican wing opposed to anyone considered an establishment figure.

But Pelosi’s office is warning that Democrats won’t be a part of any such negotiations.

“It’s up to House Republicans to choose the next Speaker,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said Thursday after the McCarthy news broke.

The announcement from McCarthy, the heavy favorite to replace Boehner, sent shockwaves across Capitol Hill, where the majority leader was expected to have an easy time securing the 124 Republican votes needed to win his party’s nomination for Speaker.

Instead, facing a conservative revolt that likely would have left him far short of the 218 votes he’d need on the House floor at the end of the month, McCarthy stepped out of the contest.

“I was shocked,” said Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), a long-shot candidate to replace Boehner. “I was 99 percent sure he was [going to win].”

The shake-up confronts the Republicans with a pressing question: Who in the conference has both the bona fides to win support from the conservatives who pushed McCarthy out and wants the gavel?

A number of Republicans have urged a run by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the House Ways and Means Committee chairman and former vice presidential candidate, viewing him as one of the few Republicans who can bridge the party’s sharp divide and win 218 Republican votes.

Ryan, however, is uninterested.

“While I am grateful for the encouragement I’ve received, I will not be a candidate,” he said Thursday in a statement.  

Tags Boehner John Boehner Paul Ryan

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