Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), a chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said he intended to run for speaker of the House in an interview with the Texas Tribune Monday. He said he would launch his campaign for the gavel as long as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) — who has been asked to run by many Republicans — continues to stay out of the race.
“I don’t want to share private conversations, but he was still a ‘no’ as of yesterday when I spoke to him,” Flores said.
Since Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) bowed out from the speaker’s race last week — facing pressure from the hard right House Freedom Caucus — the lower chamber has been in chaos as to how to move forward in nominating a new leader to replace House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who announced his resignation last month after the Freedom Caucus threatened a coup.
In his interview with the Tribune, Flores suggested that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), another candidate for speaker, was already too connected to the current leadership hierarchy for the position, as House Republicans need someone who “hasn’t been in leadership” before, Flores said.
Flores also nodded to some of the rule changes members the Freedom Caucus have been asking for to give rank-and-file member more influence in the House’s decision-making process.
He said the House GOP now has the chance to nominate “someone who’ll come in and say, ‘Let’s look at all the rules. Let’s figure out how we turn this thing the right way so that ideas flow from up from the bottom — from our constituents through the representatives and through the committee process and then on the floor.'”