speaker race

15 Members Pledge to Withhold Speaker Vote Without Rule Changes
8 Democrats, 7 Republicans part of bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus

Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., said he will not vote for a speaker who doesn’t back the Problem Solvers Caucus proposed rule changes for making the House more bipartisan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least 15 members of the bipartisan Problems Solvers Caucus have pledged to withhold their vote for speaker if the candidate that emerges as the majority party’s nominee does not back the caucus’s proposed rule changes.

The Problem Solvers unveiled a package of rules changes in late July dubbed “Break the Gridlock.” The proposals aim to open up the legislative process in a way that prioritizes bipartisanship.

Blue Dogs See Single-Digit Majority as Their ‘Sweet Spot’
Moderate Democratic caucus hoping to regrow its power through midterm gains

Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore, who heads the Blue Dog Coalition’s political arm, says a single-digit majority is a sweet spot for the group, which is looking to rebuild its influence next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The nearly moribund Blue Dogs, the coalition of moderate-to-conservative House Democrats, are looking to rebuild influence in the next Congress — and they think they’re in an especially good position to do so if the November midterms result in a single-digit House majority. 

The leaders of the Blue Dog Coalition, speaking with a small group of reporters Wednesday, said they obviously prefer a Democratic majority, but they think they will have power even if Republicans hold on to the majority with just a handful of seats. 

Why Republican Candidates Aren’t Getting Asked Who They’d Back for Speaker
Democratic candidates constantly get asked about Pelosi, but Republicans are rarely questioned about McCarthy, Jordan

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wants to be House Republicans' top leader, but GOP candidates are rarely asked whether they support his bid. That might be about to change, if Democratic criticism and advertising has anything to do with it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidates can’t escape the question, “Do you support Nancy Pelosi?” But how many Republican candidates can say they’ve heard the equivalent about Kevin McCarthy or Jim Jordan, the two GOP speaker hopefuls?

A Roll Call analysis found only 13 press reports in which Republican candidates in the 86 competitive House races were asked about or commented on McCarthy or Jordan in the context of who should be the next Republican leader.

Rep. Jim Himes: Top 3 Democratic Leaders in Late 70s Is ‘A Problem’
New Democrat Coalition chairman won‘t say whether he‘ll back Pelosi for speaker

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., says it’s “a problem” that the top three House Democratic leaders are in their late 70s. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the centrist New Democrat Coalition wouldn’t say Friday whether he would back Nancy Pelosi for House Democratic leader but he did vocalize an issue with the current leadership team.

“The fact that our top three leaders are in their late 70s — I don’t care who those leaders are — that is in fact a problem,” Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes told CNN.

Crowley Loss Creates Open Field for Next Generation of Democratic Leaders
Plenty of options, but who wants to — and who’s ready to — step up?

From left, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos attend a rally in Berryville, Va., in July 2017. The event featured a wide swath of Democratic leaders from both chambers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Not so fast. Not so fast.”

That was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s initial response — albeit a joking one — Wednesday morning to a reporter who pointed out that “at some point” the California Democrat and her top two lieutenants will no longer be in Congress.

McCarthy Denies Talk of Forcing Ryan Out of Speaker Post
Mulvaney said he's talked to McCarthy about that privately but McCarthy denies

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, denies that he’s trying to force Speaker Paul D. Ryan, left, to give up his gavel early. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday denied that he is trying to force Speaker Paul D. Ryan to give up his gavel early to trigger a speaker race before the November election. 

“Paul is here until the end of the election,” the California Republican said when asked if he definitely will not run for speaker before the November election. 

Why the Speaker Race Won’t Fade Away Until November
Potential candidates lack a path to 218 votes and need time to build coalitions

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is the front-runner to succeed retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., but there is a long way to go until the November elections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans don’t know if they will be holding a speaker’s race or a contest for minority leader come November, but that isn’t stopping them from preparing for the former. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the leading candidate to replace retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan, needs more time to build sufficient support to win a still-hypothetical speaker’s race. The same goes for other members eyeing the position.

Lawmakers Seem to Like Ryan’s Lame-Duck Speakership Plan
 

New Twists Emerge in Leadership Race to Replace Paul Ryan
Conservative Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan says he’d consider a run

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, holds his jacket over his head as he walks down the House steps in a light rain following a vote on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two twists emerged Friday in the leadership race to replace retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan. House Freedom Caucus founding member Jim Jordan said he’d consider a run while Ryan endorsed Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“There is no speaker’s race right now,” Jordan told reporters. “Paul Ryan is the speaker. If and when there is, I’ve been urged by colleagues to consider that and I am definitely open to that. Right now though the focus has got to be on the next six months, us keeping the majority.”

Analysis: Leadership Race Not Over Despite Scalise Declining to Challenge McCarthy
McCarthy still needs to shore up support from conservatives, GOP candidates

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., are presenting a united front for now about the future leadership lineup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republican leaders made moves Thursday to give the appearance that there won’t be any infighting about who should replace retiring Speaker Paul D. Ryan as head of the conference. Don’t be fooled.

The race to replace Ryan is not over — unless Republicans lose the majority in November. In that scenario, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy would have the insider track to being elected minority leader since it would only require a simple majority vote of the GOP conference.