WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy R-Calif. made it official on Monday – he is running for House Speaker in the wake of the decision by Speaker John Boehner R-Ohio to quit on Oct. 31.
“We can’t ignore the differences that exist, but we can and must heal the divisions in our conference with work, time, and trust. That is why I have decided to run for Speaker of the House and graciously ask for your support,” McCarthy said in a letter to his Republican colleagues.
The move by McCarthy, if successful, opens up his number 2 leadership slot and maybe other spots if other leaders try to move up. Rep. Peter Roskam R-Ill., is setting the stage for a possible run, though nothing is official.
On Saturday Roskam collected enough support from other Republican House members to force a meeting before the election for Speaker for the GOP members to consider the best way to move forward. That meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Capitol.
Roskam was able to raise his profile and put himself in play by organizing the meeting, where members may confront the divisions among themselves that drove Boehner to resign. Boehner on Sunday, in a CBS “Face the Nation” interview called the hard-line conservatives who are against compromise with President Barack Obama “false prophets.”
Below, the letter McCarthy sent to his GOP colleagues on Monday …..
Our conference has been through a lot together. We are a part of the largest Republican majority since 1928. We have made real progress towards shrinking an overgrown federal government and reforming our broken entitlement system. But our work is far from done. We can’t ignore the differences that exist, but we can and must heal the divisions in our conference with work, time, and trust. That is why I have decided to run for Speaker of the House and graciously ask for your support.
You all know me. We’ve spent late nights on the House Floor together. I’ve visited your districts and met your families and constituents. More importantly, I have gotten to know your ideas, your goals, and your vision for our conference and our country.
I am running to be your Speaker because I know that the People’s House works best when the leadership you elect listens to members and respects the legislative process entrusted to committees. In short, I am guided by something Ronald Reagan once said: “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
But I am also sensitive to what is happening outside of the Beltway. I want us to be much closer to the people we represent, and I want them to once again feel like this is their government, they are in charge, and we are here to serve them.
If elected Speaker, I promise you that we will have the courage to lead the fight for our conservative principles and make our case to the American people. But we will also have the wisdom to listen to our constituents and each other so that we always move forward together.
Over the past weekend, I reached out to every one of you to listen to your opinions and ask for your advice. I know that you ran for Congress to make a difference, to leave a better country for your kids and grandkids. There are challenges ahead, but unified we have an amazing opportunity to make lasting conservative change. And I know when we work together under the banner of freedom and opportunity there is little that is out of our reach.
I look forward to fighting with you for our shared conservative principles.