Two top members of Paul Ryan’s leadership team, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, have begun angling for his job in the event the speaker calls it quits after the election. They’re closely monitoring the moves of the other and quietly courting Republicans who could help them clinch the top post, according to 20 GOP lawmakers and aides interviewed for this story.Story Continued Below Neither man is actively rounding up votes at this point, and both of them downplayed the possibility of a looming clash. Scalise said in an interview that he would not challenge McCarthy for speaker — “I’m not running against Kevin for anything,” he told POLITICO — while McCarthy said he’s focused solely on keeping the House in November and pursuing President Donald Trump’s agenda. But Scalise also expressed interest in leading the conference someday — remarks that only intensified simmering speculation in GOP circles about his intentions. Adding to the intrigue, some of Scalise’s allies have urged him to be ready if McCarthy falls short for speaker, as he did in 2015. And some of McCarthy’s allies discount Scalise’s vows not to mount a direct challenge, noting Scalise’s willingness to attempt to leapfrog… Read full this story
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