WASHINGTON, D.C. (WNCT) – Members of Congress are heading home for a week with no candidate named to take over as the U.S. Speaker of the House.
Eastern North Carolina Rep. Walter B. Jones (R- Dist. 3) has an idea that he hopes will gain favor.
Rep. Jones sent a letter on Tuesday to the Republican Conference Chair and urged anyone who would take up that position or leadership role to remove their name if they had prior embarrassments. He cited past “skeletons in the closet” for other members of Congress.
On Thursday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy withdrew his name without giving a reason, though it was clear he was unlikely to draw enough votes to secure a win.
Media reports and political experts drew comparisons to Jones’s letter and even rumors about McCarthy.
“I never dreamed that words on a letter would create such an uproar, but obviously I feel very strongly about ethics in government,” said Jones.
Jones told 9 On Your Side he was not calling out McCarthy by name, but just wants to preserve the integrity of Congress.
“Some rumors are true and some rumors are not true, but the American people and those in Eastern North Carolina have a right to expect that anyone serving in Congress that they try to live the best they can and remember that it is a privilege to serve,” said Jones.
Buzz is building for Rep. Paul Ryan, but he said on Thursday he was not going to be a candidate.
“Kevin McCarthy is best person to lead the House, and so I’m disappointed in this decision,” said Ryan in a prepared statement.
The only declared candidates are Rep. Jason Chaffetz, of Utah, and Rep. Daniel Webster, of Florida.
Jones is throwing his support to Webster and even voted to elect him as Speaker of the House in January.
He said Webster may be a long shot, but things could change by the time Congress returns from its break.