Saturday, October 03, 2015

Path to Speaker’s Gavel Winds Through Gantlet of Far Right’s Demands

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER, NYT
OCT. 2, 2015

WASHINGTON — Just a week ago, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California seemed to have a lock on the job that Speaker John A. Boehner said he would relinquish at the end of October.

But now, Mr. McCarthy is facing challenges from his Republican colleagues on two fronts. Many were sharply critical of his suggestion this week that a congressional committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, was politically motivated, and there is deep skepticism among far-right lawmakers who helped unseat Mr. Boehner and wonder if Mr. McCarthy is different enough.

Two other House Republicans, Daniel Webster of Florida and Jason Chaffetz of Utah, are challenging him.

“I do believe that the opportunity to present a principle-based, member-driven process has increased,” said Mr. Webster, who held top leadership positions in the Florida Legislature. “The more opportunities I have to present these ideas, the better off I will be.”

The sudden turn of events underscored the fissures in the Republican House conference, as well as the pressure of outside groups and conservative voters in heavily gerrymandered districts who are fed up with long-serving leaders in Washington.

(More here.)

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