Ryan: Hensarling 'high on the list' for Speaker

Rep. Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingLawmakers battle over future of Ex-Im Bank House passes Ex-Im Bank reboot bill opposed by White House, McConnell Has Congress lost the ability or the will to pass a unanimous bipartisan small business bill? MORE (R-Texas) got a big nod on Thursday as a possible candidate to succeed Speaker John Boehner.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Budowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey Democratic super PAC quotes Reagan in anti-Trump ad set to air on Fox News: 'Are you better off?' MORE (R-Wis.) told TIME in an interview that Hensarling’s name should be “high on the list” to succeed the Ohio Republican.

ADVERTISEMENT

Here’s the exchange, which is behind a paywall:  

TIME: Who do you see succeeding John Boehner?

RYAN: You'd have to put Jeb Hensarling high on the list. I prefer the policy-chairmanship route. [Speaker of the House] is a good job for an empty nester.

There has been plenty of talk during the past several months that Hensarling — chairman of the House Financial Services Committee — would take a run at a leadership slot heading in the 114th Congress. That could be for Speaker or for Majority Leader.

He opted not to run this summer for Majority Leader after former Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va) lost his primary bid and announced he would give up his leadership position. Cantor left Congress on Aug. 18. 

Hensarling, who appeals to the more conservative wing of the Republican Party, was pushed by many of his close colleagues to pursue the top slot. 

Instead, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) won the job and is expected to go after the position in the next Congress.

Ryan, who is expected to grab the gavel for the House Ways and Means Committee, is considered possible 2016 presidential candidate for 2016. He has said that he and his family will make a decision next year on whether to run for the high office.