NPR Political Coverage

Chaos ensued in the halls of Congress Thursday when Rep. Kevin McCarthy unexpectedly took himself out of the running to replace John Boehner as speaker of the House.

The reason for the pandemonium and, yes, even tears: No one knows where this goes from here.

Here are the four likely ways it gets resolved:

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has had an intense day. Pressure has been mounting on Ryan to run for House speaker in the wake of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's shocking decision to pull out of the race.

At a meeting of House Republicans Friday morning, Ryan reportedly had little to say.

Some time after that, he shared a few words with the man who gave his political career its biggest boost: Mitt Romney.

An aide to the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential nominee confirms to NPR that Romney spoke by phone with his running mate from the 2012 race.

Donald Trump found love Thursday night. He's been trying to get the word out that he loves Latinos and "Latinos love Trump," after widespread criticism of his stance on immigration.

At a campaign event Thursday in Las Vegas, Trump pulled onstage an immigrant from Colombia who was holding a copy of the People magazine as he was talking about it.

The woman jumped up onstage screaming with come-on-down-you-just-won-a-car excitement, "Mr. Trump!"

Kevin McCarthy Gone, In 60 Seconds

15 hours ago

There was chaos on Capitol Hill on Thursday after front-runner Rep. Kevin McCarthy withdrew his name from the House speakership election. The closed-door House Republican meeting that was supposed to emerge with a speaker nominee spilled out into the hallway outside of the House Ways and Means Room in the Longworth Office Building. That's where reporters rushed lawmakers to find out exactly what had happened and where the conference might go from here.

Here's a peek into that hallway, in 60 seconds:

The nail in the coffin of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's hopes of being the next speaker was opposition from the House Freedom Caucus. The rogue conservative group of about 30 members instead wants it to be Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.

But Webster might not even be coming back to the House in 2017, thanks to a redrawing of his congressional district that might make it unwinnable for the GOP.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was supposed to win the GOP leadership election to succeed retiring House Speaker John Boehner easily. Wrong.

Faced with a conservative revolt and an inability to win over his caucus, McCarthy made a stunning announcement Thursday that he was withdrawing from the race.

Democrats rejoiced in the ensuing chaos. There was reportedly crying in the halls of Congress. And 2016 contenders even offered up their thoughts on successors.

Here are some of the best reactions.

No one knows who will lead House Republicans next, but for now, chaos reigns among the House GOP. Rep. Kevin McCarthy shocked Washington on Thursday when he dropped out of the race for speaker of the House.

If you aren't watching Capitol Hill closely, you might not know what the big deal is, or why the GOP is having such a hard time picking a speaker. Here's a quick rundown of what's going on.

This post was updated at 4:25 p.m.

In a shocking move Thursday afternoon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., pulled out of the race for speaker of the House, throwing the GOP leadership race into chaos and confusion.

According to Republican congressmen coming out of the caucus meeting — where lawmakers were expected to pick a successor to retiring House Speaker John Boehner — McCarthy told Republicans he didn't have a path to victory.

These are critical days for the presidential campaign of Jeb Bush.

The former Florida governor has been traversing Iowa this week, in effect reintroducing himself to voters, with the first-in-the-nation caucuses in that state now less than four months away.

This is not where Bush and his advisers expected to be when he got into the race early this year. Back then he was quickly labeled the front-runner — the man to beat.

No one calls Bush that anymore, with the topsy-turvy, crowded GOP field and its outsiders named Trump, Carson and Fiorina sitting atop the polls.

House Republicans will huddle privately at noon on Thursday to nominate the party's candidate to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the U.S. House.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is heavily favored to secure the nomination, but his ultimate victory on the floor of the U.S. House later this month is still in question.

The House Freedom Caucus, a group of roughly 40 Republicans representing some of the nation's most conservative congressional districts, bucked the party leadership and endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., for speaker on Wednesday.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says there isn't much time. Congress and the White House face two big deadlines to fund the government. It will be an intricate maneuver to meet both deadlines even as congressional leadership changes. And in an interview with NPR, Lew described behind-the-scenes negotiations meant to avert a last-minute crisis.

"There are conversations going on at a staff level," Lew told NPR's Steve Inskeep, "and I think the key is for Democrats and Republicans [in Congress] to talk to each other."

The death penalty reared its head again at the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday. It was the first time the court publicly considered a death case since last term, when a constitutional challenge to lethal injection procedures erupted into a rare, nasty and vituperative debate among the justices. This time, the issues were far more technical but still a matter of life and death.

After months of not committing to a position on President Obama's proposed Asia trade deal, Hillary Clinton came out against it Wednesday.

One of the brand names of American polling, Gallup, is letting the 2016 horse race simply gallop on by.

After a 2012 election in which the storied organization was further off than other polls, it has decided it won't conduct any head-to-head polling in the presidential primary or general election. Politico first reported the news.

That doesn't mean Gallup is out of the polling game entirely. The company will still conduct research about broader issue and opinion trends across the country.

Republicans in the U.S. House will take an initial vote Thursday on who they think should replace John Boehner as speaker of the House.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz recently announced his candidacy for speaker, but the front-runner for the job is current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from Bakersfield, Calif.

And McCarthy's roots in California's Central Valley provide some clues about how McCarthy might run the House, if he's elected speaker.