Paul Ryan declares his candidacy for House speaker, says he’s ‘ready and eager’ – Washington Post

Category : Trending
Paul Ryan declares his candidacy for House speaker, says he’s ‘ready and eager’ – Washington Postby wpjljron.Paul Ryan declares his candidacy for House speaker, says he’s ‘ready and eager’ – Washington PostRep. Paul Ryan said Thursday he would seek to become House speaker after key GOP factions pledged their support, ending two weeks of drama and doubt about the Wisconsin Republican’s intentions. “After talking with so many of you, and hearing your words of encouragement, I believe we are ready to move forward as one, united team,” […]

Rep. Paul Ryan said Thursday he would seek to become House speaker after key GOP factions pledged their support, ending two weeks of drama and doubt about the Wisconsin Republican’s intentions.

“After talking with so many of you, and hearing your words of encouragement, I believe we are ready to move forward as one, united team,” he told colleagues in a letter. “And I am ready and eager to be our speaker.”

The announcement leaves little doubt it will be Ryan, 45, who takes the gavel from outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner when he leaves office next week. Boehner on Wednesday set the vote on his successor for Oct. 29, a day before he intends to resign.

Ryan’s decision came after a week’s contemplation with his family in Wisconsin, followed by a 48-hour frenzy of meetings and conversations with colleagues about his possible ascension to the top job.

The climax came Thursday when the Tuesday Group of GOP moderates backed Ryan by acclamation in a morning meeting, then the conservative Republican Study Committee, announced its endorsement in the afternoon.

“I am confident that he is the right person to lead the House going forward,” RSC Chairman Rep. Bill Flores (R-Tex.) said in a statement that followed what he called an “overwhelming” vote of the group’s steering committee. “He has the policy expertise, conservative principles and strong values we need in our next Speaker.”

Ryan requested both endorsements as part of a three-pronged test of GOP unity he laid out before he would formally agree to serve as speaker. The third prong — the hard-line House Freedom Caucus — said Wednesday night Ryan had “supermajority” support in its ranks.

In his letter, Ryan signaled to House conservatives, many of whom have raised questions about the way the House is managed, that he would work closely with them to revise internal rules: “We can make the House a more open and inclusive body — one where every member can contribute to the legislative process.”

He also hinted at some legislative priorities, including tax reform, his bailiwick as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and poverty, which has become a concentration of Ryan’s since his 2012 vice president run.

Ryan’s announcement late Thursday served to bookend a hectic day on Capitol Hill, one dominated by a day-long grilling of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by a GOP-appointed committee on the 2012 Benghazi attacks. It also marked the possible beginning of the end for a tumultuous leadership contest that began last month with Boehner’s resignation.

Congress faces deadlines for deal or disaster

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who dropped out of the speaker’s race on Oct. 8, said he thought Ryan was in “very strong shape” to secure the job.

Asked why during House votes on Thursday afternoon, McCarthy quipped: “Because when I ran, 80 percent of the Freedom Caucus was against me, and now they’re not” against Ryan.

Ryan’s path to the speakership cleared late Wednesday after a majority of Freedom Caucus members agreed to back his bid for the speaker’s gavel. That group includes some of the most aggrieved members of the Republican caucus, who have been in constant conflict with the leadership of the party in the House.

It was those confrontations that forced Boehner (R-Ohio) to announce that he would resign the speakership, and leave Congress effective Oct. 29, and then forced McCarthy out of the race to replace him.

Earlier this week, Ryan laid out the condition under which he could be persuaded to take on the role of speaker, as he has been urged to do by much of the GOP establishment.

Among those conditions was the backing of the entire House Republican Conference, particularly the Freedom Caucus, which was regarded as the biggest obstacle. He gave the various groups until Friday to decide whether they would support him.

Ryan, in his letter, put some blame for the acrimonious stalemate in national politics on his own party: “Washington is falling short—including the House of Representatives. We are not solving the country’s problems; we are only adding to them.” He urged his colleagues to “turn the page” and embrace a “clean slate” as the Boehner era comes to a close and to shelve lingering anger over intraparty battles in order to “rebuild what has been lost.”

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a leader of the Tuesday Group, said Ryan “knows we want to expand the governance wing of the party, and we made that pretty clear to him,”

“As soon as Paul steps into this job, we’ve got the debt limit, a budget agreement, omnibus [spending bill], transportation — all of these things are going to require collaboration and cooperation with the other side of the aisle,” Dent added. “Will the membership, in total, support him? Will Paul have to fight that rear-guard action?”

There are still signs the hard right could complicate life for a Speaker Ryan. The Freedom Caucus stopped short of granting Ryan a formal endorsement, which would have required an 80 percent vote of the roughly 40-member group. And anti-establishment conservative activists continued to lambaste Ryan — and, perhaps for the first time, the Freedom Caucus felt the heat, too, from the party base for granting him their support.

“I put my credibility on the line for you because you asked me to. Then you just pull out and go for the ROMNEY PICK?” commentator Glenn Beck wrote in a Facebook post, referring to Ryan’s role as Mitt Romney’s running mate on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket.

Also left unresolved is whether House rules will be changed to prevent a bare majority of House members from moving to oust a sitting speaker — something Ryan had set out as a prerequisite earlier in the week for taking the job.

Ryan softened on that point and others to put the Freedom Caucus at ease; members had pushed for changes to the party steering committee and to loosen floor procedures.

But Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a leader of that group, said some on the right flank were wary of Ryan’s outreach to other factions and that he would be encouraged to set out his plans clearly “so there are no ambiguities or disappointments with the charge that’s been given.”

“The word that was used was a ‘down payment’ on the rules that would be changed,” Meadows said. “And so it’s important that a down payment be made in order to keep that supermajority intact.”

Asked if Ryan’s ascension was assured, Flores said, “I sure hope so, but you never know until the fat lady sings on the floor next Thursday.”

Source Article from https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/centrists-back-ryan-consolidating-support-for-house-speaker-bid/2015/10/22/afd10ca4-493c-4e2a-80a3-60569b35cbf6_story.html

Author: 

Related Posts

Leave a Reply