In case you missed it, John Boehner is stepping down as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
A Speaker leaving the post voluntarily hasn’t happened in a while, almost 40 years. Usually a speaker is voted out.
What does this mean?
Just that someone will have to take over the position, which means a vote. Now this typically happens on the first day of a new congress every other year. The last vote was this past January (2015.) So this is a little out of cycle. Typically each party will nominate one representative but when the clerk asks for each vote, a representative doesn’t have to stick to the nominee, they can vote for anyone who qualifies. A rep can also abstain from voting. And, like always, voting for the other guy is political suicide.
It is possible for the minority leader or someone else entirely to be voted in but it’s not likely. Check out the possible successors below.
And if your 10th grade Civics lessons are a little fuzzy…..each election cycle usually changes up the number of democrats and the number of republicans in congress. Whichever party has the most is the majority party, (right now it’s the Republicans.) They usually vote a party member into the position of Speaker A.S.A.P., this person is usually who they’ve already elected to be the party leader and there’s always a back up party leader. The party with the least amount of seats is the minority, they also have someone they deem their leader (right now it’s Nancy Pelosi.)
Most likely to succeed Boehner: Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy hails from California and is pretty new on the scene. He’s been part of congress for less than a decade. (Compare to Boehner who had been in congress for about 20 years before becoming Speaker.)
Fresh blood is usually a good thing but there’s a couple concerns.
One is that he doesn’t have experience and it’s clear with the foot-in-mouth comments he’s made recently that he has a bit more to learn. (Snap shot here.)
Another concern is that he really is just like Boehner. He says other wise. But he was Boehner’s right hand man, so how different is he likely to be?
The underdog: Jason Chaffetz
Another new blood, in Congress since ’08. And also, a rising star, becoming a full chairman (House Oversight & Government Reform Committee) of a committee in 2014 after only three terms.
Chaffetz likes to take risks and seize opportunities. He doesn’t even think he can win he just wants to get people thinking.