Thursday, October 22, 2015

Paul Ryan gains support from GOP hardliners, now likely to be next Speaker of the House

There's still some grumbling amongst the most blood-thirsty of the GOPlins, but it looks like Ryan has the votes. Here are snippets from the NY Times report.

A strong majority of anti-establishment conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus voted on Wednesday night to support Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin for House speaker, assuring that he will have the votes to secure the post next week and averting a leadership crisis for Republicans.

While the vote fell short of the four-fifths majority required for the Freedom Caucus to deliver its official endorsement, lawmakers said it did deliver the party unity that Mr. Ryan had set as a condition for accepting the position.

In a statement, the Freedom Caucus said its members had disagreed with one another about other conditions Mr. Ryan had set for serving as speaker. "While no consensus exists among members of the House Freedom Caucus regarding Chairman Ryan’s preconditions for serving," the group said in its statement, "we believe that these issues can be resolved within our conference in due time."

The group added, "We all know that Washington needs to change the way it does business, and we look forward to working with Paul and all our colleagues to enact process reforms that empower individual representatives and restore respect to our institution."

"restore respect?" Surely, you jest.

Mr. Ryan said on Tuesday night that he would reluctantly accept the speakership, but only if his Republican colleagues united behind him and agreed to several demands.

These included changes to a procedure for removing the speaker from office that would deprive rebel lawmakers of a potent weapon.

A spokesman for Mr. Ryan said he did not believe any speaker could serve successfully without a change in that procedure.

"No matter who is speaker, they cannot be successful with this weapon pointed at them all the time."

Do read the full article for the quotes from various GOPlins in the House. My take is that they are not at all happy about being deprived of the "weapon" they used to wage war against the former Speaker, John Boehner.

The apparent coalescing of support behind Mr. Ryan, 45, comes at a critical moment for Congress, with votes expected to begin as soon as next week over raising the government’s borrowing authority, the first of several pressing fiscal matters.

Here are other takes on Ryan.

From Pamela Powers Hannley at Blog For Arizona:

Ryan has not been a friend to families and the working poor. As head of the House Budget Committee under soon-to-be-former Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ryan became infamous for multiple draconian budgets that cut programs for the poor and proposed making Medicare into a voucher program to screw future generations out of their Social Security benefits. He’s also voted against paid leave which would enable employees to care for sick children and voted against childcare subsidies for the poor.

AZBlueMeanie at B log for Arizona provides more evidence of the hardline discontent with Ryan and speculation about what a Ryan speakership would do.

Quoting from The Hill:

In addition to backing from three major GOP caucuses, Ryan wants assurances he could cut back on fundraising trips so he can spend more time with his family and promises that conservatives won’t try to oust him from power.

"It’s like interviewing a maid for a job and she says, ‘I don’t clean windows, I don’t do floors, I don’t do beds, these are the hours I’ll work.’ It’s rubbing a lot of people the wrong way," Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), a co-founder of the Freedom Caucus, told The Hill.

The BlueMeanie adds this observation about the GOP leadership vote.

Note: This GOP leadership vote is scheduled to take place just hours before the federal highway trust runs out of money, and the federal debt ceiling needs to be raised on November 3 to prevent a default on the good faith and credit of the United States. This is what Congress should be working on, not internal GOP political infighting.

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