With Paul Ryan Gone, the GOP Prepares to Eat Itself Alive

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But as House Majority Leader during Ryan's tenure, McCarthy has developed a close working relationship with Donald Trump, who calls him "my Kevin" and reportedly considered him to replace the late Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff. If weird stuff happens and neither McCarthy nor Scalise can cobble together a sufficiently sizeable coalition of supporters, a prominent hard-line conservative like Meadows could pitch themselves to the caucus as particularly well-equipped to work with President Trump, whose relationship with Ryan could charitably be described as "strained".

"I've never run against Kevin, and wouldn't run against Kevin", the Louisiana Republican said Thursday morning on Fox News.

McCarthy has not yet announced a bid for the speakership.

"What it shows you is that we have an intact leadership team that supports each other, that's all heading in the right direction", the Speaker added. "We would have more success if there's no ambiguity as to what the leadership structure might look like", Representative Tom Graves told Politico, calling for a speaker election A.S.A.P. "Certainty is important".

"Today I'm announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the House", said Ryan, R-Wisconsin.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan's announcement Wednesday that he would not seek re-election triggered a battle for the position.

If Ryan has his way, he'll retain the speaker's gavel until the end of the 115th Congress, capping 20 years in Congress.

"It's time for a reset and a refocus on one primary objective: Doing what the American people elected us to do, doing what we told them we were going to do", Jordan said. All the analysts are saying you're going to have a blue wave.

Scalise brushed aside reports that he's preparing a run for the job following Ryan's surprise retirement announcement Wednesday. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the current chairman, said the group hasn't decided who to back this time.

Our sources say that could pull an already divided conference even further apart. No doubt, the Caucus will seek to use this fact as a means of gaining leverage and power within the Caucus and the price that they are likely to ask would likely include chairmanships (or Ranking Member if the GOP ends up the minority) of key House committees as well as leadership slots for some of the top members of the Freedom Caucus itself. Former Rep. Tip O'Neill was the last speaker to retire from office in 1987, and every speaker since the Massachusetts Democrat has either resigned and left Congress early or lost the majority and control of the House. "It is obviously in our interest to keeping our majority that every player is on the field fighting for this majority, raising for this majority and it makes no sense to take the biggest fundraiser off the field and I think nearly all our members see it that way as well".

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