Thursday, October 8, 2015

Representative McCarthy no longer running for Speaker of the House

On Friday, September 25, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that he would be retiring at the end of October. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced his candidacy to replace Boehner on September 29. However, today, McCarthy stated that he is dropping out of the race for Speaker of the House.

One of McCarthy's reasons for dropping out of the race is that the Republican Party is incredibly divided on some major issues, and he does not think that he will be able to unite the party. Another reason stated was that McCarthy damaged his candidacy when he implied last week that the Benghazi investigation had a political agenda of damaging Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

McCarthy's decision shocked many house members and leaves the House in a state of confusion. Chaffetz, another candidate for Speaker, still plans on running. A group of Republicans stated earlier in the week that they would support Webster for the position. However, as of right now, it is unclear who will succeed Boehner.

Many important issues are quickly arising around this time. The Treasury predicts that on November 5 it will reach the debt ceiling, so congress needs to raise it. Additionally, the continuation on last year's budget will expire on December 15, which could cause a government shut down.

This relates back to class because in the last chapter we were discussing the House and national debt limits. The government reaching the debt limit would have catastrophic consequences as people will no longer trust the U.S. government as a safe investment. This will cause interest rates to rise and more expensive borrowing in the future. In addition, the GOP needs to find a suitable Speaker candidate quickly. The new Speaker needs to be able to represent the House as a whole and keep the party together.

What do you think about the current state of the House? What do you think is the importance of having a good Speaker of the House?



Juliana Stahr said...

Hillary's new ad clearly sparked attention on all news channels. Her attack on McCarthy claiming that Republicans have spent "4.5 million dollars in taxpayer money" to destroy Hillary has evidently made McCarthy look weak in his campaign. Hillary's ad created a lot of controversy this week and in my opinion, has simply brought more attention to the committee investigating benghazi and as a result, lessens the popularity of Hillary's overall campaign. To answer Jack's question, I believe that the House is indeed in a state of chaos. McCarthy's dropping his bid for Speaker of the House makes our House look extremely vulnerable. This evidently shows how the competitive nature that lives in both the political parties can be highly dangerous. Los Angeles Times underlines how the Republicans simply did this to themselves. The Republicans simply lose popularity among voters for all that McCarthy has said and done. We need to make sure that whoever replaces McCarthy represents a strong candidate for the Speaker of the House. The House Speaker is both the presiding officer of the House of Representatives and the leader of the majority party. Also, the Speaker is also second to the Vice-President of the United States in the line of succession to the Presidency. With this, we must ensure that our Speaker easily reflects those interests of the people.


Virginia Hsiao said...

I agree with Juliana in that the House is in a state of chaos and that the Speaker of the House plays a significant role in the political process. Aside from being second in line from the presidency, the Speaker of the House plays a fundamental role in the progression of the House’s agenda, and the Speaker now has an opportunity to truly lead the House through the turmoil. As we are on the verge of another government shutdown, I think that McCarthy’s withdrawal indicates the severity of the polarization within the GOP – not such a Grand Old Party anymore, is it? A Washington Post points to the Freedom Caucus, a group of around 45 individuals who have acted in this manner to maintain support from their constituents, as their district remains highly Republican. If this is the case, is this the necessary result of geographic distributions or lines, as we discussed in class? If so, how do we reasonably address the problem?

As the party looks to a reluctant Paul Ryan, the path to recovery seems long and arduous. In this case, what is a reasonable expectation for the House within the next year? How will their actions impact the results of the election?