(American Prospect) -- You’ve got to remember, I’m the only guy in the modern era who didn’t want this job,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told Politico Magazine last fall. Nonetheless, Ryan entered the speakership with a clear sense of mission. There were taxes to be cut and safety nets to be slashed. Forced to traverse a chasm between Republicans factions, Ryan considers holding his caucus together in December for the tax overhaul to be the highest point in his speakership.
Now, with Ryan’s announced departure, those hoping for a change in the trajectory of the Republican Party to arrive with Ryan’s replacement should brace themselves for disappointment.
For the second time in nearly three years, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California appears to be the odds-on favorite to take the spot as number-one Republican in the House.
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McCarthy has been at the center of the fights for nearly every major Republican piece of legislation and deregulatory effort since Donald Trump became president. He delivered on his promise to pass an Obamacare repeal in the House, though the measure failed in the Senate, as in years past. He was also a key player in scrapping more than a dozen Obama-era regulations through the Congressional Review Act.