By: Hashim Arain
The town of Washington DC experienced a shockwave a couple weeks ago when now outgoing Speaker of The House John Boehner announced that he was stepping down from his post at the end of this month. This move was met with surprise from those in Congress to those who follow politics closely. With Boehner’s upcoming resignation, there’s now an open seat for those who want to become one of the most powerful people in Congress today. There will be quite a few congressional Republicans who will try and nab this position, and it might be a difficult hill to climb to get there.
According to The Economist Boehner has faced a lot of backlash from the ultra conservative members of Congress, which made getting votes for legislation a tough job. The Economist also notes that the current favorite to replace Boehner as Speaker is current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is seen as the more establishment Republican choice. There’s no doubt that those in the extreme right wing of the Republican Party are going to try to take the speakership, there has been a rift between the establishment of the Republican Party and the extreme conservative part of the party in recent years.
The Atlantic reports that Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz has announced a run for Speaker. The Atlantic notes that Chaffetz currently chairs the well known House Oversight and Government Reform Committee which is famous for holding hearings on Planned Parenthood and the hearing on the Secret Service scandal. The Atlantic also notes Chaffetz has an uphill battle to climb to win the speakership against McCarthy, but he could very well give him a fight.
I think that the next House Speaker should be willing and able to work with the Democrats on the other side, in order to get meaningful legislation passed. One of the big things that the next Speaker has to deal with is the Republican Tea Party members in both the House and the Senate. This was something that Boehner has struggled with, but he has at least kept them somewhat under control. It’s going to be interesting to see which direction the Republican Party will go depending on who is the next Speaker. The Republicans need someone who is middle of the road and sensible, it’ll just be better for them in the long run.
John Boehner had some ups and downs as Speaker, but he always had the mentality of what’s best for the country in mind. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s relieved at leaving Congress, it’s been real tough for him to try to keep his party in line these past few years. I believe the Republican Party is currently fractured, and it needs somebody to help bring its members all together. We’ll see in the next couple weeks which brave soul is up for that daunting task.