John Boehner delays leadership votes

Story highlights

  • Speaker John Boehner is delaying elections for the House GOP's Nos. 2 and 3 spots
  • The delay comes after Rep. Mick Mulvaney asked for more time

Washington (CNN)House Speaker John Boehner is delaying elections for two key leadership posts.

GOP members will vote on their choice to replace the retiring Boehner as Speaker behind closed doors on Thursday. Then, Boehner announced Monday, the full House will elect its next Speaker on Oct. 29.
Elections for the No. 2-ranking House majority leader and No. 3 House majority whip were originally expected to be Thursday, too. But Boehner is pushing those back until after a new Speaker is chosen by the full House.
    "The new Speaker will establish the date for these additional leadership elections," Boehner said in a statement Monday afternoon. "This new process will ensure House Republicans have a strong, unified team to lead our conference and focus on the American people's priorities."
    The move gives conservatives more time to rally around candidates -- particularly one to oppose Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Rep. Tom Price of Georgia for majority leader.
    The delay is a particular blow to Scalise, who had said he had the votes for House majority leader.
    A push to delay some of the leadership votes was first reported by Politico. It was driven by Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, who formally requested the delay in a letter.
    In the letter, Mulvaney argues that procedurally, further elections can't be set until other offices -- like majority leader, with current No. 2 Rep. Kevin McCarthy running for speaker -- are actually vacated.
    He writes that "the current Rules dictate such elections would be premature until another leadership office is vacated by the office holder. Simply put, we cannot and should not hold elections for vacancies that have not occurred prior to October 8th."
    The vote for Boehner's replacement as speaker looks unlikely to move. McCarthy, of California, is widely supported to move into the role, but on Sunday Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah said he'll run against McCarthy.
    Scalise held a conference call Sunday night, telling House GOP supporters he has enough support to lock up the majority leader race.
    "The winning number in this race is 124, and Scalise hit that mark days ago," said a source close to Scalise. "He's well past it now and is continuing to earn more support. He's got the opportunity to blow the top off this race."