Jason Chaffetz says expected successor Mike McCarthy “more of the same”
Utah House Republican Jason Chaffetz announced on Sunday that he is running for speaker of the House, becoming the second Republican attempting to succeed Speaker John Boehner. Chaffetz, who chairs the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, said on Fox News Sunday that he does not believe McCarthy can get the 218 votes he needs to be elected speaker because “nearly 50 people and a growing number” in the GOP caucus will not support him. “There is really a math problem” for McCarthy, Chaffetz said.
McCarthy has broad support within the House Republican Conference and remains the overwhelming favorite to succeed outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). And it’s unclear how much support Chaffetz can actually garner. Chaffetz, who remarked that he’s “comfortable with losing,” would not say whether he has any pledged supporters. But until now, McCarthy faced only token opposition in Florida Rep. Daniel Webster; Chaffetz, by contrast, is the head of a major committee and a respected figure among the rank-and-file. At the very least, the Utah Republican’s last-minute entry complicates McCarthy’s path and highlights the uneasiness with which the centrist Californian is viewed among the most conservative members of the GOP conference. According to Chaffetz, Republicans would be getting more of the same with McCarthy.
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