Breaking News: Frontrunner in House Speaker Race Drops Out

In a surprising turn of events on Capitol Hill today, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) rescinded his bid to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House.

McCarthy announced his withdrawal in a meeting of House Republicans, acknowledging that a recent challenge to his candidacy by the House’s conservative Freedom Caucus would make the election difficult, and stating that the party needs to achieve greater consensus prior to a vote.

The Freedom Caucus is a closely-knit group of conservatives that threatened to unite against McCarthy during the House floor vote, which would have effectively robbed McCarthy of the majority needed to gain the speakership.

Amid the “chaotic” situation described on Capitol Hill, pundits and news sources are speculating about potential replacements for McCarthy in the speaker’s race, including Paul Ryan (WI) Trey Gowdy (SC) and Jim Jordan (OH). However, the situation in the House remains fluid.

John Boehner is scheduled to step down on October 30, with a vote for the new speaker scheduled for October 29, leaving Republicans with three short weeks to reach consensus on a new candidate.

We will continue to monitor the evolving situation, particularly as it pertains to ongoing ESEA reauthorization efforts, and will share updates as they occur. Stay tuned!


For additional reading:

Washington Post: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Drops Out of Race for House Speaker

The Hill: Shock! McCarthy Drops from Speaker’s Race

Shannon Kelly, Director of Advocacy and Policy, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, October 8, 2015. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org).