With Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) set to resign from Congress at the end of next month, his 434 colleagues will have to elect his successor. With Republicans set to hold a 246 to 188 majority, a mostly unified GOP could pick its candidate without any Democratic votes.
With 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) ruling out a bid for the job, a ThinkProgress review of the most likely members to become the next speaker finds that all of them are likely to be as conservative as Boehner or more so:
As the House Republican Majority Leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may be the most likely choice. In 2010, McCarthy was chief architect of his party’s “Pledge to America” to cut spending and preserve the Bush-era tax cuts.
In 2013, he vowed that step-by-step immigration reform would happen and supported some form of “legal status” for undocumented immigrants, but never brought any major legislation up and continues to use coded language against “amnesty” on his House website.
The third-ranking Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) made headlines earlier this year when it came out that in 2002 he had spoken to a group of white supremacists and in 2004 had been one of a handful of legislators to oppose making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a holiday in Louisiana.
He has fiercely opposed bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform, telling ThinkProgress that it would “actually force” non-citizens who did not want to become citizens “onto an amnesty track.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) chairs the far-right House Freedom Caucus. He has been one of the most vocal supporters of drastic spending cuts, tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and of reinstating a ban on open service by gay and lesbian armed servicemembers.
He backed defunding the entire Department of Homeland Security over President Obama’s executive action on immigration, pushed for a voter referendum to overturn DC’s same-sex marriage law, and has opined that he believes America’s founders wanted to prohibit abortion.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) chairs the House Financial Services Committee and previously chaired both the House Republican Conference and conservative Republican Study Committee. He has denounced Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as “cruel Ponzi schemes.”
He has defended recessions as just “a part of freedom.” And he has opposed efforts to raise the debt ceiling as “contrary to our DNA” — despite having voted for an increase under Republican President George W. Bush.
Hensarling co-chaired the unsuccessful 2011 “super committee,” where he vowed to oppose “any penny of increased static revenue.”