House Republicans

House speaker may be the most undesirable job in Washington for Rep. Paul Ryan, but a growing number of backbench Republicans are indicating they would be happy to hold the gavel if Ryan refuses to run.

The field is back open after heir apparent Rep. Kevin McCarthy dramatically quit the race just moments before House Republicans were to vote last Thursday.

Some lawmakers, like Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., and Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, have told their colleagues they are actively considering a bid if Ryan opts out.

(This post was last updated at 1:31 p.m. ET.)

House Speaker John Boehner will give up his seat in Congress at the end of October.

Boehner became the 53rd speaker of the House in 2011. The Ohio Republican's tenure has been marked by fierce confrontations with Democrats and sometimes with his own party. One of those fights led to a 16-day partial government shutdown in 2013.

Amid renewed conflict with more conservative members of his party, Boehner is once again facing the prospect of a government shutdown.

Did you get snow? Some areas of western Washington did. Today's forecast calls for morning rain with some sun breaks today, highs near 50, and cool temperatures again tonight. 

In headlines this morning:

  • Avalanches Hit Snoqualmie Pass, I-90
  • Protesters Camp Out at State Capitol
  • House Rejects Republican Budget Plan


Avalanches Injure Skiers, Temporarily Close I-90

Nine people were rescued Wednesday after being caught in two separate avalanches near Snoqualmie Pass. In one incident, an avalanche hit a group of skiers who were in a backcountry area just below the summit of the pass.

Some of the top news stories around the Northwest this morning:

  • New Plan to Target Sea Lions
  • State House Lays Out a Budget Plan
  • Bellevue Tackles Steep Rise in Burglaries


Legislators Driving Toward Budget Showdown

Democrats in the state House of Representatives presented their budget plan for the next two years, slashing nearly $5 billion in spending. Cuts come from many areas, including K-4 education spending, and care for the developmentally disabled. Spared? Enrollment for 25,000 slots in children's health insurance program, Apple Health for Kids.

Washington House Democrats have unveiled a plan to close a $5 billion shortfall over the next two years. The plan released Monday would close a $5 billion shortfall and yet still manage to save several programs the governor proposed to eliminate.

It would privatize the state’s liquor distribution center and impose a $10 state park fee. It would also allow for the early release of some prison inmates. House Budget Chair Ross Hunter (D-Medina) calls it a responsible and sustainable budget.