Does Conservative Chaffetz Have a Shot at Beating Establishment Figure McCarthy for Speaker?

chftz-mccrthyWith John Boehner’s stunning announcement that he would be stepping down as Speaker of the House and resigning from Congress, three Congressmen have stepped forward to replace him. There is Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, who is considered the natural, establishment replacement for Boehner. There is Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the high-profile House Oversight Committee and widely considered one of the minority of consistent conservatives in Congress. Finally, there is the relatively unknown Daniel Webster of Florida, who as a state legislator defended comatose Teri Schiavo from efforts to pull her feeding tube, but has not acquired a very conservative record in Congress.

The first vote occurs in secret on Thursday, and it is really determinative, since few members will change their vote after that for the public vote. The first vote includes the full Republican caucus of 247. The second public vote includes the entire House, and takes place on October 29.

Chaffetz has a respectable lifetime rating of 92 by the American Conservative Union. With the exception of a few blips, he is considered one of the most stalwart conservatives in Congress. He was criticized by some conservatives for stripping Rep. Mark Meadows, a House Freedom Caucus founder from North Carolina, of his subcommittee chairmanship last summer for voting against a procedural motion that would have enabled fast track for consideration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. However, fast track is an issue that has divided conservatives, and so his move wasn’t clearly anti-conservative. Chaffetz eventually returned the chairmanship to Meadows.

McCarthy has a lifetime rating from the ACU of 88, which dipped down to 72 in 2013 and 76 in 2014.

Webster has a 78 lifetime rating, which dipped to 72 the last couple of years.

Read the rest of the article at The Stream

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