House Freedom Caucus Endorses McCarthy Challenger For Speaker

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October 7, 2015 5:09 p.m.

The House Freedom Caucus — the group of conservatives hardliners whose shutdown antics led to House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation — has endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster for to be the GOP nominee for the next speaker, caucus member Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) told CNN. The move is a rebuke to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Boehner’s presumed successor.

While it’s unlikely that the 40-or-so member caucus will be enough to thwart McCarthy’s selection in the closed-door GOP conference Thursday, their refusal to support him spells trouble for when the issue comes to the full House, where 218 votes will be required to elect the next speaker.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) suggested Tuesday that Democrats will vote for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), meaning if enough Republicans continue to resist McCarthy as speaker, it could set the stage for a protracted floor fight.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), another Freedom Caucus member, told CNN the group plans to vote as a bloc once the speakership nomination hits the floor.

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