A Nevada Republican shared on Monday what he conceded is a rumor: That House Speaker Paul Ryan would resign in the near future and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise would claim the gavel.
“The rumor mill is Paul Ryan is getting ready to resign in the next 30 to 60 days and that Steve Scalise will be the new speaker,” Nevada GOP Rep. Mark Amodei said on “Nevada Newsmakers.”
Amodei continued, “Now that’s interesting because nobody has talked to members how they’re going to vote, or maybe they’ve talked to all the members but me, so I don’t know.”
Ryan’s office denied on Monday that he was stepping down.
“The speaker is not resigning,” spokesman Doug Andres told CNN.
Amodei’s office stressed the nature of the congressman’s claim was a “rumor he had heard.”
“His response to the question was made explicitly in the context of a rumor, nothing else,” Amodei communications director Logan Ramsey said after the interview was posted.
Scalise spokeswoman Lauren Fine issued a statement in support of the speaker after the rumor circulated.
“Whip Scalise is proud to serve alongside Speaker Ryan, and fully supports him to remain speaker. Our whole leadership team is focused on working with President (Donald) Trump to deliver more conservative wins for the country, and also ensuring we keep the majority so we can continue implementing President Trump’s agenda that is getting our economy back on track,” her statement read.
Ryan has yet to declare whether he will seek re-election, and some of his close friends previously told CNN that he might leave office. For his part, Ryan has demurred and said in a January interview that re-election is a decision he and his wife will make together in late spring.
Amodei referenced the speculation when asked about the rumor he floated and said Ryan “wants to play on the national stage in some capacity or another.”
Ryan was Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee in the 2012 election.
But Amodei said he doubted that Ryan would be welcomed by the administration into a White House or Cabinet position given the split between the Wisconsin Republican and then-candidate Trump during the campaign and Trump’s discomfort with the recently passed funding bill.
“I’m speculating from at least as far away as you are, and my speculation is this: The White House and Paul Ryan would probably not be a great fit,” Amodei said, adding later, “I would be very surprised if there were open arms at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue for ‘come on into the administration, Mr. Cheese Guy.'”