The New York Times reported on Friday that Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) is resigning from Congress at the end of October. Aides from his office confirmed to reporters that the decision was made in a closed-room meeting with the Republican caucus. So, who will replace Boehner as Speaker of the House? There are a few GOP members who have been eyeing the embattled speaker's job.
Earlier this month, there were reports of a coup to oust Boehner brewing in the House of Representatives, which is currently divided over the fight to defund Planned Parenthood. Most reports did not name which Republican representatives were trying to overthrow Boehner, but it's likely they are members of the Tea Party, the far right sect of the Republican Party that has been at odds with conservatives like Boehner over the years.
The Hill also reported last week that Republicans in the House have already begun reaching out to other representatives, urging them to consider taking over as House Speaker. The news source cited Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as potential successors to Boehner. Ryan, Rodgers and McCarthy all recently released statements in support of Boehner after it was reported that they may be looking to take over his position.
However, NPR reporter Susan Davis tweeted Friday morning that Ryan, a one-time vice presidential candidate and current chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, has no plans to run for the House Speaker position. Davis reported that Rep. Steve King (R-N.Y.) also confirmed he won't be running.
Politico's Lauren French also reported that some other high-ranking representatives, including Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), have already removed themselves from contention.
Other possibilities for Boehner's replacement include current House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Financial Services Committee chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). However, The Dallas Morning News reported that it's more likely Hensarling will go after the House Majority Leader position.
The speculation now is that McCarthy is the top choice for Boehner's successor — a huge win for the Tea Party, which rode the wave of the 2010 midterm elections and has been injecting Congress with far-right social and economic mores ever since. McCarthy previously ousted Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014. At the time, Cantor's loss to a Tea Party rival highlighted the internal conflict within the Republican Party.
In a statement released Friday, Boehner did not give any details about his possible successor. Instead, he said he was simply stepping down to "protect" the institution of Congress.
"It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution," Boehner said.