By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, September 28, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) updated her constituents in an email on the search for the next Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
US Representative Roby wrote, “I’m sure you heard the news that Speaker John Boehner has decided to step down from his position as Speaker and retire from Congress at the end of October. This was a pretty shocking announcement, and while I don’t always agree with him on everything, I deeply appreciate Speaker Boehner’s service to this country.”
Rep. Roby said, “The selection of our next Speaker is a very important decision as this person will lead not only the Republican Conference, but the House of Representatives as a whole. It remains to be seen when elections will take place, but I’ll be looking for someone to step forward who can boldly and effectively lead Congress in pursuit of conservative solutions.”
The conservative congresswoman told constituent to, “Stay tuned as the House moves forward with this selection process in the coming weeks.”
The early frontrunner for the position appears to be Representative Kevin O. McCarthy (R-California). Rep. McCarthy said in a statement on Facebook, “After hearing from my colleagues, I have decided to run for Speaker of the House. Let’s work together to make a difference for our country. I want Congress to be much closer to the people we represent. This is your government, you are in charge and we are here to serve you.”
Rep. McCarthy continued, “I am running for Speaker to work with my colleagues and make the case to the American people for conservative principles. There are challenges ahead, but unified we have an amazing opportunity to make lasting conservative change. When we work together under the banner of freedom and opportunity, there is little that is out of our reach.”
Some have mentioned conservative firebrand Representative Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) as a possibility; but he said Monday on Facebook, “I have yet to commit to backing any candidate for Speaker of the House but look forward to meeting with those seeking the position. It’s critical that we fix the way Congress operates and truly get things done for the American people. My voting card belongs to the people of Western North Carolina and I welcome your input.” Rep. Meadows is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus who has recently been critical of Speaker Boehner’s policies and management style.
Many conservatives have been hopeful that South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) would run for the post, but Gowdy’s office shot those hopes down on Monday. Gowdy Communication Director Amanda Duvall said, “Rep. Gowdy has said his time and attention will continue to be devoted to the work assigned to him. He is not interested in any leadership positions and believes one can have influence without the title.”
Gowdy himself told a South Carolina newspaper on Friday, “The Speaker’s job is an incredibly hard one, as whoever takes his place will learn.” He told the Columbia newspaper on Friday that Speaker Boehner, “Has been nothing but fair to me and particularly supportive of the Select Committee on Benghazi. I am happy that one of his final memories will be watching the Pope address an institution the Speaker loved and served for many years.”
Rep. Dave Bratt (R-Virginia) said on Facebook, “The American people are tired of the same old games, and want to see real, authentic effort to change the status quo. Effort when it matters, not just for show. That means a Congress fighting hard on the issues that matter to everyday Americans, not just on issues that matter to K Street. But, time after time since 2010, leadership has made up excuse after excuse and squandered opportunities to keep the promises that were made when campaigning for votes. Leadership has repeatedly turned its back on the people, the Constitution and the rule of law by refusing to use the biggest means at its disposal — the constitutional power of the purse — to fight illegal actions of the president and this administration.”
Speaker Boehner went on television over the weekend to denounce “false prophets” who promise the people things they know are never going to happen.
There are a lot of contentious issues that could come up; but at this point it appears that Rep. McCarthy despite having served only eight years in the House appears to be the consensus choice to take over for Boehner.
Congresswoman Marth Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.