Arizona Rep. Schweikert Reacts To McCarthy's Withdrawal From House Speaker Race

By Associated Press, Carrie Jung
Published: Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 3:32pm
Evan Vucci/AP via NPR
Kevin McCarthy

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Thursday that he'll be dropping out of the race for speaker of the U.S. House.  

The move was announced at a closed door meeting of GOP lawmakers who were scheduled to cast secret ballots for their nominee. Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona said his initial reaction to the news was shock.

"You’re sitting in a room ready to have sort of the inner caucus vote and the member gets up and says 'Guys, I think I’m best just staying where I am and we should have a fresh face.'" said Schweikert. "So all of a sudden you have to sort of start the rethinking of the whole process all over again."

Rather than continuing with the vote without McCarthy, current House Speaker John Boehner moved to delay the election.

Going forward, Schweikert said he and other members of the House are having to go back to square one.

"We’re actually having discussions with Daniel Webster who was the former speaker of the Florida State House who brought great transition there. And a couple other members here," he added. 

The full House is scheduled to vote for speaker on Oct. 29. Democrats are expected to back Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Republicans will need a 218 vote majority to prevail.

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