Can Boehner “Clean the Barn” Before He Goes?

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Eugene Robinson: Paul Ryan is doomed, too.

Rep. Paul Ryan has been abundantly clear: As speaker of the House, he won’t spend all of his time jetting across the country to keep the National Republican Congressional Committee flush. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has been able to count on his Facebook page for stalwart support during his long-running battle with the House Republican leadership, including a successful effort to oust House Speaker John A. Jim Jordan said on “Fox News Sunday.” Ryan, House Ways and Means Committee chairman and 2012 vice presidential candidate, was recruited by Capitol Hill Republicans to become the next House speaker.

Ryan would succeed John Boehner, who announced his resignation from Congress last month after years of often-futile attempts to unify warring factions within his Republican caucus. But in recent days, the tone of the comments on Meadows’s page, and those of the other members of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, have changed significantly. “You should all be replaced,” a critic told Rep. He has deep, developed, strong relationships with some of our best supporters around the country,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.). “Frankly, I don’t know more than maybe one or two other members that have that level of relationships.” There’s no question Ryan has big shoes to fill.

And, he is no stranger to the workings of Congress, having co-authored a 2013 fiscal deal with Democrats that limits federal spending to this day. “I still think we are an exceptional country with exceptional people and a republic clearly worth fighting for,” said Ryan last week. “It’s not too late to save the American idea, but we are running out of time. “Make no mistake: I believe that the ideas and principles of results-driven, common-sense conservatism are the keys to a better tomorrow, a tomorrow in which all of God’s children will be better off than they are today,” he added. “I think Paul Ryan would make a great speaker,” Boehner said days ago. “He works hard, very bright, and he has good relationships, I think, with all the wings of the party.” Ryan said he would only serve as speaker if Republicans unified behind him. Ryan in talking with the caucus members reportedly agreed to address their concerns including committee leadership assignments and legislation from rank-and-file members not getting more consideration. “We have a commitment from Paul to work on changing the rules and we may even get a change before the vote this coming Wednesday and Thursday,” Jordan said. That unity will be put to the test almost immediately with critical votes on matters such as raising the federal government’s borrowing limit by November 3 or risk a U.S. debt default. “It’s as serious as it gets for our economy, for interest rates. Ryan after he assured them that rank-and-file members would have a voice in what comes to the floor, including their opposition to President Obama’s vision for comprehensive immigration reform. “He’s agreed to not move anything without the majority of the majority on that particular issue forward, which would actually make sure that every member has a voice on immigration,” Mr. GOP victories in the 2010 midterm election had swept into office a group of nihilistic renegades who believe the way to change Washington is to blow it up.

This has a direct impact on the lives of the American people,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi who, like President Barack Obama, is demanding a conditions-free hike of the debt ceiling. Labrador (R-Idaho), one of the most persistent thorns in Boehner’s side, “a RINO establishment lap dog” and “another go-along to get along phony who will GLADLY step on the throats of the Conservative electorate.” Things may never be the same for the Freedom Caucus after most of its members moved last week to support Rep.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the second-in-command, dropped out of the race after suggesting the House Select Committee on Benghazi was responsible for damaging the campaign of Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Ryan will have to contend with the same ultra-conservative Republican faction that bedeviled Boehner’s leadership with demands of a no-holds-barred opposition to Obama’s agenda and a focus on shrinking the size of government at all costs. “Divided government is very difficult.

The groundswell of support from hard-core conservative voters that emboldened the group as it battled Boehner and the GOP establishment seemed to subside for the first time in months. They insisted on more than 50 useless attempts to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act, knowing these measures would fail in the Senate or be vetoed by President Obama. That has put its members in the unfamiliar position of defending their right flank. “Look, I imagine that there’s theoretically a chance that [we] all went from being radical extremist crazies to Washington sellouts in 12 hours,” said Rep. So instead of a five-hour event playing golf, allies say, Ryan can hold two events in the same time and can bring in five times as much money by attracting many more donors.

Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), a Freedom Caucus leader. “But maybe a more likely narrative is that we really think that this is a good step for the conservative movement. And it’s up to us to try to explain that to people, and that’s what we’ve been doing.” The anger over Ryan’s ascent has been fueled by voices across the conservative media landscape. On the Internet, sites such as and the Drudge Report have pumped out a steady stream of anti-Ryan stories casting doubt on his record, while such prominent commentators as Erick Erickson, Ann Coulter and Mickey Kaus have sharpened their teeth and urged conservatives to contact lawmakers and tell them to spurn Ryan. Particularly brutal have been the syndicated talk-radio hosts who have helped foment the anti-establishment outrage that has kept Donald Trump atop the GOP presidential race and forced Jeb Bush, a well-financed mainstream conservative, to undertake a campaign shake-up. Laura Ingraham last week called Ryan “basically John Boehner with better abs” and featured segment after segment attacking Ryan’s positions on trade and immigration.

But in courting the ultraconservatives, he reportedly made concessions that seem to guarantee that the speaker’s gavel will be a symbol of misery, not of power. Boehner had to break the Hastert rule whenever ultraconservatives threatened to bring about disaster — a potentially catastrophic default because the debt limit needed to be raised, for example. He has contributed $2.7 million to the party committee since 2011 — not counting events he has held for candidates and colleagues, according to a source familiar with the committee’s fundraising. “He is in high demand,” said Walden, “because he can articulate the issues, he gives a great vision discussion about the future of the party and where we can go. Dave Brat (R-Va.) — counts himself among the roughly 70 percent of Freedom Caucus members who say they are willing to support Ryan. “When they make decisions, it’s not in haste,” Brat said of the caucus. “And so I would ask the American people: Hold your fire.

Wait till you see exactly what our group is doing, and I think you’ll see that it’s coherent, it makes sense.” One problem for Brat and his Freedom Caucus colleagues is that Ryan has remained mum for the most part on his intentions. And so, we’ve helped him manage that demand … at the NRCC to maximize his time, because it’s so valuable.” Ryan still has a lot of work to do. Ryan could go that route, or he could hand over his political operation to the committee itself. “Donors tend to be as attracted to the personality as much as they are to the office,” said Dan Senor, a close Ryan confidant who works with billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer in New York. “The donor community likes spending time with Paul because he’s a very smart guy and he’s very thoughtful and he’s not just buried in process but he can also talk about policy and a governing agenda.” Senor added that while he understands the concerns about Ryan’s family time cutting into fundraising time, “when he is out fundraising he is very efficient, and he accomplishes a lot.” He opted instead for gauzy generalities: “We can make the House a more open and inclusive body — one where every member can contribute to the legislative process. The latter has proven to be especially toxic for Ryan in conservative circles, to the point that his chief partner in pushing reform legislation, Rep.

Don’t say anything at all about Paul Ryan!’ ” “There’s a small group that wields an inordinate influence and power over the group,” Gutierrez added. “They are slaves and captives to Laura Ingraham.” Meadows said Thursday that he and like-minded members were more concerned that Ryan might have made contradictory pledges to different groups while courting support last week. In his meeting with the group, moreover, he reportedly softened his demand to eliminate a House procedure in which any member can call for a vote to “vacate the chair,” or kick the speaker out of his job. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), a backbencher who has emphasized procedural reforms. “If you’ve got problems with a man today, and the man tells you, ‘Tomorrow, I’ll be a different person’ — it doesn’t happen,” said Rep. Commentators and activists might be exercised about Ryan’s immigration positions, they say, but lawmakers are more focused on how he’ll run the House. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said calls to his office were running 2 to 1 against Ryan, but he said passions were at “a much lower level” than after he voted for Boehner in January.

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