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House Republicans to Hold Post-Election Call Wednesday

Impending leadership elections likely to come up

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, along with other House GOP leaders, will host a members-only conference call Wednesday to evaluate the election results. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, along with other House GOP leaders, will host a members-only conference call Wednesday to evaluate the election results. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans will hold a members-only conference call Wednesday at 1 p.m., two GOP aides confirmed. 

The call is an opportunity for members to touch base after Tuesday’s elections, a senior GOP leadership aide said, noting that House Republicans regularly hold meetings or calls after large events. 

Republicans are expected to retain their majority in the House but are likely to lose seats. The call, which is being hosted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, will give members a chance to assess the level of damage and to discuss what’s ahead. 

[How Many House Seats Will Democrats Pick Up? Watch These Districts]

One topic likely to come up if members are given an opportunity to make statements or ask questions is the status of the upcoming House GOP leadership elections. 

The Republican conference is scheduled to hold its internal elections for speaker, leader, whip, conference chair, conference vice chair, conference secretary, NRCC chair, and policy committee chair on Nov. 15. Some members have requested that the elections be postponed, a debate that will likely play out on the call. 

[A Guide to House Leadership, Committee, Caucus Elections]

The call could also be an opportunity for members to announce bids for leadership positions. Currently the only races that are expected to be contested are for NRCC chair, conference vice chair, and possibly conference secretary, but that could change.  

Speaker Paul D. Ryanhas said he plans to run for re-election to his leadership post, but there’s an open question of how much support he has, especially if the GOP majority is reduced. The call may provide some sense of whether members are still angry with Ryan for his tepid support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump or if there will otherwise be a groundswell of opposition to electing him speaker again.

[Ryan: ‘I am going to seek staying on as speaker’]

Ryan and the other GOP leaders only need a majority of votes cast in the conference’s closed-door leadership elections, but the speaker faces the additional hurdle of a House floor vote in January that requires 218 ayes. 

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