House Speaker Job Requires Many Hats Paul Ryan Has Never Worn

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

House Speaker Job Requires Many Hats Paul Ryan Has Never Worn.

There have been two Republican presidential debates thus far, and neither featured any serious discussion of poverty, the welfare state, or the candidates’ plans to address the problems facing low-income people. WASHINGTON — To most Americans, the speaker of the House is the man (and in one case, the woman) sitting next to the vice president during the State of the Union address to Congress, and the one who goes on television now and then to denounce the opposing party’s ideas.WASHINGTON — The White House and top legislators from both parties reached a deal to avoid a debt default after next Tuesday, putting legislators on course to stave off a fiscal calamity. There’s been plenty of talk about tax cuts and spending cuts and how they’ll combine to trigger unheard-of levels of economic growth, but no specific discussion of what the candidates would do within the existing policy framework to improve the lives of people living below the poverty line.

Paul Ryan as the chamber’s new speaker, milestones GOP leaders hope will transform their party’s recent chaos into calm in time for next year’s presidential and congressional campaigns. Paul Ryan (pix) is expected to be nominated by his Republican colleagues Wednesday to lead the fractious House of Representatives through the end of the Barack Obama presidency and potentially beyond. But the former vice presidential candidate is widely cited among many of his colleagues as a likable enough chap who is polite to his elders in the hierarchy of Congress, and this makes the more rabid bomb throwers seethe.

Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate were urging lawmakers to back the agreement, which would resolve fights over defense and domestic spending and federal borrowing until early 2017. He said the plan would raise spending caps for defence and nondefence programmes for two years, though it would keep discretionary spending below 2008 levels.

To them, that chummy, self-enlightened pragmatism as well as his past embrace of immigration reform qualify him as a so-called RINO, a Republican in Name Only, a “squish.” Time makes ancient good uncouth, as the poem goes, and in the words of Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly’s “Political Animal” blog, “Nowadays if you are guilty of having ever supported ‘amnesty’ your other heresies will be uncovered, however old they are. Expectations were for House passage Wednesday and final Senate approval next week, even as hard-right conservatives and farm-state lawmakers arrayed against the deal. “That’s good news for everybody.

With the youthful father of three, 45, the Republicans are choosing a telegenic spokesman who, while he occasionally comes off as bookish and cocky, is an ideologue influenced by neoclassical thinkers and repelled by the excesses of modern federal government. “The fight we are in here – make no mistake about it – is a fight of individualism versus collectivism,” Ryan said in a 2005 speech to devotees of laissez-faire capitalist philosopher Ayn Rand, according to The New Yorker. The agreement would not eliminate the chance of a government shutdown if legislators could not resolve differences over spending priorities and policy riders by December 11, when current funding expires.

The other way to look at it, of course, is that the GOP continues to drift to the Right, making yesterday’s ideological heroes suspect.” The House Freedom Caucus, the fractious faction of radical right-wingers gerrymandered into a permanent demolition squad, successfully conspired to bring down House Speaker John Boehner and his designated successor Kevin McCarthy. The radicalism of Ryan’s proposals have at times alarmed even those within his party, notably his call for the privatisation of the Social Security pension system and Medicare public health service for seniors, both American sacred cows for 65 years. His much-celebrated budget documents from previous years would have inflicted ruinous cuts on the social safety net in order to finance tax cuts for the wealthy and increased military spending, but the Ryan poverty plan accepted the continued existence of social welfare programs, albeit with severe and debilitating changes. The quarter-century House veteran serves his final day in Congress on Friday, driven into abrupt retirement by rebellious GOP hardliners who scorned his penchant for compromise with Obama and Democrats. “I have a gift for you, too,” Boehner told his House GOP colleagues at a closed-door meeting Tuesday, after they gave him a golf cart as a parting present.

The centerpiece of Ryan’s anti-poverty vision are “opportunity grants,” in which the federal funding for several different welfare programs would be bundled together and sent to the states in one lump sum to encourage “innovation” and “accountability.” Such arrangements are typically referred to as “block grants,” but “opportunity grant” sounds nicer and more free-markety, so that’s what Ryan went with. And it is a final part parent to 434 other members, who must be told in excruciating terms exactly why they need to vote the way a speaker wishes, or who come as supplicants wanting to be placed next to someone important at an event. He called the agreement “the best possible deal at this moment for our troops, for taxpayers and for the American people.” Without legislation, the government could lapse into an economy-jolting default next week.

Boehner spokeswoman Emily Schillinger said the amendment included a “technical fix” to off-budget money, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, that was used to help offset some spending. Block grants for anti-poverty programs have been a staple of conservative welfare reform proposals since forever, but they don’t actually do anything to reduce poverty. Back in 1996, the Clinton administration and the Republican-controlled Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act – the “welfare reform” measure Republicans like John Kasich so often boast of. Despite his ideological kinship with the anti-government crowd, Paul Ryan is the embodiment of the troika of money, power, and politics that corrupts and controls the capital, the very thing the tea partiers detest.

He was the lawmaker with sufficient potential for Mitt Romney to choose him to be his running mate in the 2012 White House race, stressing at the time that “with energy and vision, Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party.” Paul Davis Ryan was born Jan 26, 1970 in the small town of Janesville, in the midwestern state of Wisconsin, where his Irish-Catholic family has lived for five generations. Ryan is “a creature of Washington,” Red State’s Erick Erickson wrote. “He worked on Capitol Hill, worked in a think tank, then went back as a congressman. Freedom Caucus member Raul Labrador of Idaho said on Monday he would rather congress passed a short-term debt-limit measure for now and let Mr Ryan handle the larger package later.

Rand Paul, R-Ky., a presidential candidate, promised a filibuster, calling the package a capitulation that illustrates “why the grassroots Republicans are so angry with establishment Republicans.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., seemed ready to use procedures to limit the delay to a few days — underscoring the conservatives’ helplessness when confronted with bipartisan cooperation. When he volunteered for a congressional campaign as a student, it was ironically for Ohio’s John Boehner – the man he will replace as House Speaker. Put simply, the “flexibility” afforded to the state in administering the program ended up providing it with the means and the incentive to boot people off the rolls and redirect the money elsewhere, which has rendered the program effectively useless. “Ending the poor’s entitlement to government aid is counted as a success because it has reduced the rolls of people on welfare,” the Times noted. “But that is not the same as helping the poor get a job, overcome dependency and climb out of poverty.

Just look at Ryan’s choice as his new chief of staff: David Hoppe, the personification of the supreme K-Street lobbyist, his footprints stamped all over the tar pit of Washington patronage, his hands chapped from rubbing at the prospect of the big bucks corporations pay for government favors. From 1992 to 1997, Ryan worked for a Republican senator in Washington and for Empower America, the organisation founded by the influential conservative Jack Kemp, who took young Ryan under his wing. Not only will he be the youngest speaker in more than a century, he is also a policy wonk rather than the typical veteran lawmaker who has risen through party ranks.

Leaders were forced to combat a long list of sticking points on Tuesday, including anger from members who opposed a reduction in crop insurance payments, which would raise $3 billion over 10 years. The last Republican budget document envisioned transforming Medicaid into a block-granted program – no, wait, I’m sorry, the egregiously message-tested term it used was “State Flexibility Funds.” CNBC’s John Harwood – who will be moderating the debate! – noted earlier this month that Republicans generally agree that block-granting Medicaid is a terrific idea. The indefatigable journalistic sleuth David Sirota went digging into federal records this week and reports that, “Hoppe has lobbied for such major financial industry interests as insurance giant MetLife, the National Venture Capital Association and Zurich Financial Services.” Hoppe also has scurried along the inner corridors and back rooms of government for the investment firm BlackRock.

Hoppe’s other clients have included the “free-trade” promoting and job-busting US Chamber of Commerce, recently outed as perhaps the tobacco industry’s most influential champion not only in Washington but the entire world. Ryan may lack administrative experience but makes up for it in the political chops he earned as his party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2012. “He knows because he has been there,” said Terry Holt, a former adviser to many senior Hill Republicans. “That is what next year is going to be about.” The first order of business outside his palatial office suite in the Capitol is to open the House chamber, which the speaker must do at least three days a week. Ryan’s promise echoed demands of the outsider-oriented conservatives who made Boehner’s life miserable because they felt he left rank-and-file lawmakers powerless. But then he considered the consequence of “not stepping up,” as he described it last week, and the worry of “some day having my own kids ask me, when the stakes were so high, ‘Why didn’t you do all you could?

Eric Lipton at The New York Timesadds that Hoppe has worked for Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and as a registered foreign agent, “representing the governments of Kosovo and the Philippines.” There’s even more. Harwood and the other CNBC moderators should challenge the 2016 Republican hopefuls on their plans for the safety net and finally shed a little light on what the GOP has in store for the nation’s poor and less fortunate. Boehner, the exiting speaker, marches into the chamber most days with the sergeant-at-arms and announces that “the House will be in order” as he stands with a few other early birds for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Hoppe’s listicle of paymasters continues, as reported by Lipton: “The more than 100 companies and trade associations he has represented over the last decade have paid $95 million in lobbying fees, according to records filed with the United States Senate clerk, for work that Mr. The 144-page bill, which was released Monday shortly before midnight, was welcomed by Democrats who have been pushing for budget negotiations all year.

From there, most of the speaker’s day is filled with meetings with other members of his leadership team, committee leaders, lobbyists, constituents, Senate leaders and White House officials. Hoppe and his colleagues have provided, to his firm [Hoppe Strategies], to Squire Patton Boggs, or to Quinn Gillespie & Associates, where he once served as president.” And it turns out that Hoppe is just one of the network of Ryan pals who have turned their Capitol Hill experience into pay dirt. But if he supports it, he could get off to a poor start with the roughly 40 members of the Freedom Caucus, most of whom voiced support for him last week after initially backing a long-shot rival, Rep. Boehner, who will step down on Friday, added that the alternative was a clean debt-ceiling suspension with no extra funding for troops. “This is a good deal,” he said. “The last seven years, we’ve gone from crisis to recovery, and we’re on the verge of being able to have a genuine economic resurgence here,” Biden said. “And what we’ve put together is a good deal.

Catherine Ho at The Washington Post notes, among others, Ryan friend and former Senate staffer Tim McGivern, “a longtime AT&T lobbyist who last month joined the lobby firm Ogilvy Government Relations.” Others in the Ryan orbit include two former aides of then-Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the House majority leader who was found to be so deeply embedded in the money machinery of Washington’s crony capitalism that he was embarrassingly trounced by an obscure tea partier running against him in their Republican primary. (Now that successful challenger, David Brat, has endorsed Ryan. And he has to listen and try to help.” The speaker is not expected to vote and rarely does, but he does have to sign the bills and send them to the House parliamentarian.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he will support the budget deal because “it restores all but $5 billion of the defense requirements.” He said that if the budget agreement passes he could move quickly to adjust and pass the National Defense Authorization Act that was recently vetoed by President Obama over budget concerns. Following the meeting Tuesday morning, some conservatives complained that the negotiations were conducted without the input of committee chairs and rank-and-file members. Committed to the sad and sordid Washington game that has so angered Americans on every point of the political spectrum, he is about to be named one of its Most Valuable Players. But they’re unlikely to have the numbers to derail the pact as long as Democrats and moderate Republicans stay onboard. “I don’t know if this thing could pass,” said Rep. Jones of North Carolina, who says he can’t support Ryan because, “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.”

Hoyer (D-Md.) can deliver votes from most, if not all, of their members, Boehner will have to win the support of only about 40 to 50 Republicans to pass the deal. “I hope Paul Ryan will let us know how he feels about the process,” Rep. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, sometimes crisscrossed the country by bus during the August congressional recess and collected checks for the party while he squeezed in rounds of golf. The deal isn’t a complete victory for Democrats, who were pushing for even more spending increases and hoped to pass an increase in the federal borrowing limit without including it in a broader budget deal. The deal allows Obama to say he secured a bargain on a scale that has not been seen since the 2013 agreement between Ryan and the Senate Budget Committee’s then-chairman, Sen. Sam Rayburn, the Texas Democrat and longest-serving speaker, pushed for passage of legislation that would exclude natural gas producers from federal regulation — legislation that passed over his own party’s objections.

New revenue would be raised by auctioning off portions of the government-owned broadcast spectrum, selling oil from the strategic oil reserve and cracking down on audits of large business partnerships. Hastert, a Republican who has since been charged with illegally structuring bank withdrawals and lying to investigators, was also mindful of the interests of Boeing, which relocated its headquarters to Illinois.

Pelosi had a large “Green the Capitol” initiative that replaced plastic-foam cafeteria items with recyclable materials and switched the Capitol Power Plant from coal to natural gas, although Republicans killed some of it in 2011. Boehner said Tuesday that his best day as speaker was just last week, when the House voted to reauthorize a voucher program for low-income students in the District of Columbia to attend private schools, a pet project of his for years. Livingston, Republican of Louisiana, resigned abruptly before he could take the speaker’s gavel in 1998 because of revelations of extramarital affairs.

Cannon of Illinois, who was speaker from 1903 to 1911, consolidated every ounce of power into the speaker’s portfolio, including making all committee assignments and running the Rules Committee. Thomas Brackett Reed of Maine, a subsequent speaker, changed the House rules in the 1880s to end what was essentially a House filibuster. “These are skills that don’t descend upon you just because you happen to be elected speaker,” said John Lawrence, who served as chief of staff to Ms.

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