October 08, 2015 4:48 AM
Republican congressman Kevin McCarthy has dropped out of the race to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the House of Representatives.
House Republicans have also posponed the election for a candidate for speaker. Details are still coming in.
On Wednesday, the so-called House Freedom Caucus voted to support Florida Representative Daniel Webster for the post, rejecting a bid by McCarthy, the House majority leader and Boehner’s second-in-command, who has gained the support of the majority of the 247-member Republican caucus.
FILE – In this Sept. 9, 2015, file photo, Speaker of the House John Boehner pauses during a news conference with members of the House Republican leadership on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Boehner announced his resignation last month after a 25-year career in the House, the last five years as speaker. His authority was constantly challenged by hardline conservatives — many of whom were elected in the 2010 «Tea Party» wave that gave Republicans a majority in the House — and who demanded a greater say in decision making and policy matters.
Boehner decided to resign after agreeing to a short-term plan that kept the government fully funded past September 30, when its spending authority was scheduled to expire, in the process rejecting demands to strip federal funding for the women’s reproductive health group Planned Parenthood from the budget.
The effort to defund Planned Parenthood was strongly opposed by congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama, which set the stage for a possible government shutdown on October first.
Under the U.S. Constitution, the speaker of the House follows the vice president in the line of succession to the presidency.