5 things you need to know Thursday

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

House GOP, eager to mend wounds, ready to make Ryan speaker.

Republicans are ready to make Rep. CINCINNATI (AP) — It was at the college in House Speaker John Boehner’s home county in southwest Ohio where his presumptive successor, Paul Ryan, has said he found himself; a place where he took a deep dive into conservative philosophies while dipping his toe into congressional politics.Rejoice, America: With the new budget and debt deal struck by congressional leaders and the White House late Monday, the Obama-Boehner Era of Constant Arbitrary Crises is over.The House of Representatives moved along a bipartisan 2-year budget deal on Wednesday, voting 266 to 167 to pass the measure that will suspend the debt limit while boosting domestic and defense spending.

Paul Ryan the new House speaker, hoping the young but grizzled lawmaker can heal the splintered party’s self-inflicted wounds and fashion a conservative message to woo voters in next year’s elections. Ryan arrived at Miami University in 1988 in the aftermath of his father’s death from a heart attack and found comfort and challenge amid the red-brick Georgian buildings on the small-town campus near the Indiana border, some 40 miles north of Cincinnati.

The House planned to formally elect the Wisconsin Republican to the post Thursday, with lawmakers voting aloud, one by one, in a tradition that bespeaks the dignity of a chamber that lately has been more rowdy than respectful. He joined Delta Tau Delta at a school long known for its Greek life, and distinguished himself with professors who remember him decades later as a hard-working student with an intellectual curiosity beyond homework and exams. “I came to Oxford after a very difficult high school experience in which I lost my father,” Ryan said as his alma mater’s 2009 commencement speaker. “It is here at Miami where I was able to find myself.

Ryan is expected to formally win the position in a vote Thursday on the House floor, although it will require that restless conservatives who opposed him get on board. With the GOP controlling 247 of the House’s 435 votes, Ryan’s election was assured, despite grumbling from conservatives demanding more say in how the House operates. I found a sense of direction, and a sense of identity.” While a student, he spent many hours talking with a favorite economics professor, Rich Hart, discussing the writings of such conservative thinkers as F.A.

In his acceptance speech, Ryan planned to ask both parties for a period of healing and to focus on working families, said an aide who described the remarks on condition of anonymity. “If you have ideas, let’s hear them. All we know for certain is that in early 2017, the source of the problem—the members of the House Freedom Caucus, or at least most of them—will still be there, and they will still be subject to the same political pressures that have made their band the toxic force against governance that it is today. A greater clarity between us can lead to a greater charity among us,” Ryan was planning to say, said the aide, in what seemed a bid for GOP reconciliation. Hart, now a professor emeritus, said Ryan came to Miami with core beliefs that he honed with his studies, strengthening his belief in empowering individuals.

After leading the House since 2011, the 25-year House veteran stunningly announced his resignation last month, hounded by hard-line conservatives who are mostly rallying behind Ryan — at least for now. Thursday’s vote comes as Congress nears completion of a bipartisan accord to avert a jarring federal default next week and likely prevent a December government shutdown by setting spending levels for the next two years.

Ryan joined the College Republicans, and knocked on doors as a low-level volunteer for Boehner in the House district the West Chester Republican is retiring from in his 13th term. The Tea Party members whose numbers propelled Boehner to the third-highest position in American government five years ago—now voting en bloc under the recently certified House Freedom Caucus—were preparing to oust him if he did it again. The House approved the bill Wednesday 266-167, with final Senate passage on track in a few days, despite opposition from conservatives including senators seeking the GOP presidential nomination.

Hart, who has kept in touch with Ryan over the years, said he had mixed feelings when Ryan finally decided to seek the speakership, a daunting challenge in the fractious House. Ryan returned to the campus in Butler County three years ago as Mitt Romney’s newly named running mate, and said then he spent much of his “formative years” in Oxford. He had also termed India as a rising democratic power in the world. “I think every member of Congress should go to India to see for themselves the kind of global challenges and opportunities that face us as India emerges. Wednesday’s House budget vote underscored Ryan’s challenge in leading Republicans who often have scant interest in compromise, especially with a GOP presidential contest dominated by candidates who vilify Washington insiders. Ryan was among the first US lawmakers to express condolences after the shooting in a Wisconsin Gurdwara in 2012. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and everyone in Oak Creek who has been impacted by this tragic act of violence,” he had said after the incident.

The deal over spending is a deal that would have been necessary anyway, while a “clean” debt ceiling increase is simply thrown into the same legislative vehicle. Susan Brooks (’82), R-Indiana, who is on the Select Committee on Benghazi — is in his House ranks, and Ryan as speaker would become second-in-line to the presidency, an office once held by another Miami alumnus. Deeply saddened by the malicious crime, Ryan said: “As additional details are gathered, I am hopeful that we will all come together, united in a shared desire for peace and justice, and stand with the Sikh community as we grieve this loss of life.” As for that budget deal, it gives Democrats increases in discretionary spending and Republicans (and plenty of Democrats!) increases in defense spending. Boehner’s resignation prompted a month of GOP turbulence after the Freedom Caucus derailed the candidacy of the heir-apparent, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Speaking of Paul Ryan: What does he think about this deal? “Paul Ryan Silent as Permanent Political Class Cooks Up Giant Backroom Big Government Budget, Debt Ceiling Deal” is how the always-understated Breitbart news team puts it. But as the incoming speaker whom the party’s conservative wing views skeptically, Ryan is forced to say that the way the deal was crafted “stinks.” That would appear to be Ryan “blasting” Boehner—that’s the point!—but Boehner probably encouraged Ryan to “blast” him. Boehner’s reign, and the era of brinksmanship between his House and the Obama administration that has defined the last five years of dysfunction, ends with him falling on a grenade for Ryan. Others stand ramrod straight and thunder the name of their pick, much like a parent admonishing a behaving child with the dreaded “triple-name” scolding: “John Andrew Boehner” or “Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi.” The chamber is usually packed for this occasion as members sit quietly in their seats. Few people get the opportunity to serve so highly in their political careers, and now he gets to spend his golden years playing golf and smoking cigarettes and “consulting on the side” at a going rate of something like $10 million an hour.

Someone’s phone will inevitably sound — usually with an incongruous ringtone for the occasion like “Centuries” by Fallout Boy or “Style” by Taylor Swift. That’s because the non-voting representative to the House from American Samoa, Delegate Amata Radewagen is permitted to vote in the conference but not on the floor. If Ryan fails to score 218 (or the absolute majority of all members voting), then the House (by rule) cannot conduct any more business until it establishes a new speaker. Absences gave a significant boost to Boehner this past January as several dozen members were out of town, attending the funeral of the late-New York Gov.

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