Kevin McCarthy ousted as House speaker: Here’s who could replace him

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Kevin McCarthy has been ousted as speaker of the House of Representatives, and he said Tuesday night that he won’t try to reclaim his post. So who might replace him?

That person, and the return of stability to Capitol Hill after an historic measure to take the speaker’s gavel from McCarthy, could help calm markets, analysts say. But the process of settling on a new speaker could drag out longer than markets would like.

Market Extra: What McCarthy ouster means for markets as investors fret over congressional ‘dysfunction’

Here are the names of a few candidates to watch:

Steve Scalise

Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who led the charge to oust McCarthy, said he was open to supporting Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Scalise is the No. 2 House Republican but is also undergoing treatment for blood cancer. Gaetz said that treatment wasn’t a factor in his support.

Jim Jordan

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the founding chair of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, said Wednesday he is seeking the speaker position. Jordan heads the House Judiciary Committee and is helping lead the GOP’s impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

Jordan — who’s been a key ally of former President Donald Trump — defended McCarthy from the House floor before the latter lost his post on Tuesday.

Tom Emmer

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer is the House’s No. 3 Republican and has been mentioned by other members as a potential replacement. Some of the GOP’s hard-right faction have said Emmer would deliver more conservative results for the party, according to a Washington Post report.

Emmer is a cryptocurrency
supporter and co-chairman of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus.

Patrick McHenry

Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican who leads the House Financial Services Committee, is another possibility. He was one of the negotiators of the deal with the Biden administration to raise the debt ceiling — which could actually hurt him with some conservatives.

McHenry is now speaker pro tempore, or temporary speaker, until the election of a new speaker.

Also read: Speaker pro tem McHenry takes swift action to evict Pelosi from honorary ‘hideaway’ office at Capitol

Elise Stefanik

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is the House GOP Conference Chair, the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress. She is also close to former President Trump.

The fight over McCarthy’s speakership played out after lawmakers extended until Nov. 17 funding for the federal government. The move avoided a shutdown but only kicked the funding can down the road. It’s unclear how long it will take to elect a new speaker, but having the battle now keeps it distanced from a key deadline.

“From a governance standpoint, having this fight early in the government-funding window is far better than on the eve of November 17 when funding expires,” Chris Krueger of TD Cowen said in a note.

Also read: What McCarthy’s ouster means for markets as investors fret over congressional ‘dysfunction’

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