Orrin Hatch says his Utah colleague across the Capitol, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, has every right to run for speaker. But the longtime Republican senator warned there could be consequences, such as increasing the likelihood of “chaos” in the House as Washington begins high-stakes budget talks this fall.
Hatch, the Senate pro tempore and third in line of succession to the presidency, said the longer Chaffetz remains in the race — trying to pull support from the heavy favorite to become speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — the more disruptive it may be to Congress’ work.
Chaffetz’s bid “may prevent McCarthy from getting” sufficient support, Hatch said. “Which is in my view a pretty bad thing. The more the House stays in chaos, the worse it will be.”
Chaffetz is banking on McCarthy securing support within the conference but struggling during the floor vote for speaker on Oct. 29. If the GOP rejects McCarthy on the first ballot, Chaffetz believes he may be able to capitalize.