Freedom Caucus Is Key to Paul Ryan House Speaker Decision

21 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Follow “Jamie DupreeRetiring House Speaker John Boehner gave his political blessing to his would-be successor on Wednesday, telling reporters that Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan ‘would make a great speaker.’ Boehner backed Ryan – who would be third-in-line to the U.S. presidency if elected as speaker – at a late-morning press conference and dodged attempts to discuss a second or third choice. ‘Paul Ryan would make a great speaker, but it’s up to the members,’ Boehner said. ‘I think Paul is going to get the support he is looking for…WASHINGTON — For weeks, the hard-line conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have said what they want most in Congress is a say in how the institution is run. The Braves drove us to distraction and brought “termination” to Frank Wren, the general manager who built them, by swinging big, missing big and spitting the bit in September. Paul Ryan is seeking unity from divided House Republicans before he will serve as their speaker — a tall order as the split between GOP pragmatists and hardliners all but paralyzes Congress and roils the presidential race.

In the weeks since Boehner, an Ohio Republican, announced his retirement last month, Ryan — the Republicans’ vice presidential nominee in 2012 — hadn’t definitely said whether he wanted the job of herding the notoriously fractious Republican caucus, despite urging from colleagues across the political spectrum. Ryan’s message to his colleagues: Embrace him as their consensus candidate by week’s end or he won’t seek the job, plunging the House into deeper chaos with deadlines on an unprecedented government default and the budget fast approaching. That ended Tuesday night at a meeting of the House Republican Conference, where Ryan told fellow Republicans that he would run if the caucus unifies around a positive message of big ideas. “We need to move from an opposition party to a proposition party,” Ryan told reporters. “If I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve.” Boehner also said the hefty fundraising responsibilities, usually considered part of the House Speaker’s de fact role, could possible be adjusted. Ryan said in a closed-door meeting in the Capitol basement on Tuesday evening that he was insisting on the endorsement of three key groups: the (relatively) moderate Tuesday group, the mainstream conservative Republican Study Committee and the Freedom Caucus.

Boehner and other Republican leaders also hit back on Wednesday against the president’s vow to veto a defense authorization bill—part of an ongoing funding showdown between the administration and GOP lawmakers. “While the legislation gives the President every dollar he asked for defense, he is threatening to take the unprecedented step of vetoing the bill for political leverage to extract additional spending for other domestic programs,” Rep. Ryan, there is a peril in pushing too hard against a group whose members have shown a willingness to shut down the government, or even default on federal debt obligations, to stand for their beliefs. The caucus had also resisted Boehner’s previous heir-apparent, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy, contributing to his sudden withdrawal from consideration earlier this month.

But Boehner said Wednesday that he thought Ryan’s meeting with House Republicans Tuesday evening ‘went well’ and that ‘members responded well’ to his remarks – but he declined to be specific when pressed by reporters. Ryan demanded a change that would deprive rebel lawmakers of their most powerful weapon: the ability to make a motion “to vacate the chair” and essentially kick the speaker out of the job. “As part of those rules changes, he believes there needs to be a change to the process for a motion to vacate the chair,” a spokesman for Mr. Ryan wrote in a briefing paper for reporters. “No matter who is speaker, they cannot be successful with this weapon pointed at them all the time.” Within minutes, however, Representative Raúl R.

That means it may be up to Democrats to decide who leads the GOP-controlled House – and they may have demands of their own in exchange for their support. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. “But the only concern that I have right now is it appears that he is asking for more power to be in the speaker’s office instead of less power. Outsider candidates, especially Donald Trump, have shaken the GOP presidential campaign to the consternation of mainstream party leaders who fear the fighting could lead to a third straight Democratic White House administration. “I came to the conclusion that this is a very dire moment, not just for Congress, not just for the Republican Party, but for our country.

Ryan’s challenge will be whether he can win over the hardline Freedom Caucus, which drove the current speaker, Boehner, to announce his resignation and scared off Boehner’s No. 2, McCarthy. Congress is hurtling toward an early November deadline to raise the federal borrowing limit or invite a first-ever default, and a deadline to pass spending legislation or risk a government shutdown will follow in early December. Scott Perry, R-Pa. ‘We’re willing to listen but it’s the beginning of the conversation as far as I’m concerned.’ Ryan laid out a number of conditions under which he would serve, all of them aimed at defusing an atmosphere of constant chaos and crisis that has hung over the House for the past several years as a large group of tea party-backed lawmakers pushed for confrontation with the White House and demanded changes that the strictures of divided government never could deliver.

Boehner has scheduled internal Republican leadership elections for next Wednesday, essentially giving n Republicans some wiggle room if the factions do not accede to Mr. The other candidates, nearly a dozen, all lack Ryan’s stature and broad support and it’s not clear if any of them could gather the needed backing to become speaker. In the meeting, leaders of the group, including Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, laid out their request for rules and procedural changes that would reduce the power of the speaker and the House leadership as a whole.

Ryan was to meet with the entire group later Wednesday. “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,” Mr. He spoke of “the idea that the role of the federal government is not to facilitate dependency, but to create an environment of opportunity for everyone.” Mr.

Ryan would not go that far. “I laid it out today with our conference about all the various groups, having their endorsement and being that unifying candidate,” he said.

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