Race for Speaker overshadows week away for GOP


Credit: Jamie Dupree

Credit: Jamie Dupree

With the House out of session this week, Republicans will try some long distance lobbying to figure out who should be the next Speaker of the House, as GOP lawmakers admit they aren't sure who may be in line to replace Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) for that powerful position.

"We've got a busy time ahead of us," said Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), one of many Republicans who have been looking at Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as a possible choice for Speaker.

So far, Ryan has resisted pressure to join the race.

"He's like me," Mullin said. "We want to do everything we can to serve the American people, but there is a point during the weekend, we want to have our families."

While others like Ryan consider their options, two Republicans remain in the Speaker's race - Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Dan Webster (R-FL).

One Webster supporter on Sunday circulated a letter to other Republicans, urging them to back the Florida Republican.

"Dan has the experience, temperament and judgment to make the House work again," wrote Rep. David Jolly (R-FL), who had planned to nominate Webster last week at a GOP meeting.

While Republicans wait to see what Paul Ryan does, other GOP lawmakers are taking this week to talk over their options with those who matter back home.

"I've got to go back and talk to my family," said Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), who said he was looking to run for Speaker.

But there are rumblings of discontent about a bid by Ryan, as some more conservative lawmakers aren't fully sold on the idea of Ryan becoming the Speaker - worried that he will be too much like John Boehner.

"I want a less dictatorial approach," said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).

"My concern is the same with all of the candidates for Speaker," Brooks added.

Many veterans say it's no surprise that fellow Republicans aren't leaping to grab the job as Speaker, given the likelihood that it would be difficult to satisfy more conservative lawmakers who helped to oust Speaker John Boehner.

"To get an idea of what it feels like is to probably buy a couple of ice picks, put them in your nose and them turn them around," said Rep. John Mica (R-FL).

"The real brave thing would be running for Speaker, but explaining to my wife that I was running for Speaker," said Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) with a grin.

A few Republicans are likely having that talk with their spouse back home right now; whether they get into the race, that's still unclear.

The House is out this week; back the week of October 19.