House GOP Moderates: If We Don’t Get Paul Ryan For Speaker, We Might Quit!

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October 20, 2015 10:16 a.m.

The moderate wing of the GOP is concerned that if the House cannot coalesce behind Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) or someone like him as speaker, some of the more pragmatic members of the caucus will retire, the National Journal reported Monday.

“De­pend­ing on how this shakes out, you may see some Main Street mem­bers re­tire,” Sarah Cham­ber­lain — chief op­er­at­ing and fin­an­cial of­ficer for the Republic­an Main Street Part­ner­ship, which supports moderate GOP lawmakers — told the National Journal. “They’re hop­ing for a Ry­an-type can­did­ate. But if it’s not and it be­comes a huge mess, why be sit­ting here?”

Two of the most vocal GOP critics of the conservative hardliners who have been roiling House leadership suggested to National Journal that the thought of retirement was weighing on members’ minds, even if they themselves weren’t currently considering stepping down.

“A lot has been put on hold in both ways—people de­cid­ing to run again, or not run again,” Rep. Pete King (R-NY) told National Journal, while saying he personally is not considering retiring “be­cause you can’t give in.”

Likewise, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) said he was “pre­par­ing as if I’m run­ning for reelec­tion right now.”

“But we’ll see what hap­pens. The next two months are go­ing to be pretty intense,” Dent said.

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