The shocking news that Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the race to be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is still sinking in on Capitol Hill. McCarthy, a Republican from California, dropped out after it was clear he wouldn’t get the necessary votes to succeed.
A bloc of the most-conservative members of the U.S. House -– the House Freedom Caucus -– on Wednesday said it would support Rep. Daniel Webster, a Republican who represents the Orlando area. And while Webster is not perceived to have much chance of winning wide enough support to grab the speakership, his caucus does have the ability to throw a serious wrench into the works.
The shocking news that McCarthy was pulling out follows the equally shocking news last month that John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, would resign.
Some initial reaction from South Florida lawmakers, which will be updated:
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Miami Republican: “I’m sad to see a good man like Kevin pulling out of the speaker’s race because he is a principled legislator who has guided us on the House floor through difficult votes. Speaker Boehner should reconsider his decision to resign as speaker because we need his steady leadership through these stormy seas.”
Boehner, in a statement, said he will serve as speaker until the House votes to elect a new one. “I’m confident we will elect a new speaker in the coming weeks,” he said.