“A family meeting:” House Republicans huddle together to discuss future after Boehner resignation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Republicans huddled Tuesday evening to discuss their future but made no decisions on the leadership battle that taking shape.
Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois pushed for the gathering in hopes of airing differences before any leadership votes could take place.
Each member had the opportunity to speak for two minutes, lawmakers said after the meeting. But there was no talk of legislation, candidates for leadership positions or a decision on a possible rule requiring anyone running for a leadership position to cede a position they currently hold, members said.
“Literally, just a family meeting, people having their say,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said, adding that the huddle was positive.
“There was no yelling, there was no screaming, no throwing things, so yeah, it was a good meeting,” Kinzinger said. “I’m sure we’ll have probably many more of these, and again it’s an opportunity to have a very big moment here and it’s an opportunity for people to have their say, and we may not always agree but hopefully we can get along.”
Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon called it a “family discussion” and Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida categorized it as “therapy.”
New York Rep. Peter King, who has had harsh words for the conservatives in his party who he said forced Boehner’s hand, came out joking.
“No, we all love each other,” he told gathered reporters. “It was a come together meeting.”
He said he had no idea on a path forward and that some expressed anger, but the meeting was productive.
Boehner’s announcement that he would resign at the end of October has set off a free-for-all as House Republicans have been jockeying for new leadership posts. While current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is a favorite to win the speaker’s position, he has a conservative challenger. His decision to leave the majority leader position also sets off a cascade of openings that other Republicans are eyeing.
The meeting came as the divisions in the party have reached a fever pitch.
Boehner left in part because his speakership has been under near-constant challenge from a conservative wing of his party. Now, that fight has spilled over into the race to replace him.
But the leadership fight was not a part of Tuesday’s meeting, lawmakers said. In fact, candidates for leadership hardly spoke.
Boehner was not present at the meeting.