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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    Freedom Caucus Is Key to Paul Ryan House Speaker Decision

    Freedom Caucus Is Key to Paul Ryan House Speaker Decision


    Representative Paul D. Ryan arrived for a morning Republican Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

    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. Now, they have it — and they have until Friday to decide if they will support Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin for speaker.

    Describing his reluctant willingness to lead the deeply fractured Republican conference, Mr. 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.

    Only the Freedom Caucus poses a real challenge, and there were already signs of dissonance on Wednesday.

    By making a series of demands of his own, Mr. Ryan is forcing the hard-line members into a position where they would be held responsible for derailing his candidacy for speaker

    But for Mr. 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 Power of the Hard-Line Republicans in the Race for House Speaker

    Any candidate for the speakership — which requires the approval of a majority of the House — will need the support of at least some of the hard-line members.


    In the meeting on Tuesday evening, Mr. 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. Labrador of Idaho, an influential member of the Freedom Caucus, publicly declared that demand to be “a nonstarter.”

    To win the endorsement of the Freedom Caucus, under the group’s bylaws, Mr. Ryan will need the backing of at least 80 percent of the group’s roughly 40 members.

    Representative Bill Flores of Texas, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said he would immediately request an endorsement of Mr. Ryan at the group’s regular Wednesday lunch. But leaders of the Freedom Caucus appeared to be in no rush to throw their support to him.

    Officially, the group has already endorsed Representative Daniel Webster of Florida, a little-known lawmaker who has promised to completely change the way the House does business, giving more power to committees and the rank-and-file. Mr. Webster has virtually no chance of winning the gavel, and it is not even clear he will be in Congress beyond this term.

    His district is due to be eliminated as a result of a lawsuit over redistricting in Florida.

    Another declared candidate, Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah, has stepped aside and endorsed Mr. Ryan.

    NEWS CLIPS By REUTERS 1:09Paul Ryan Mulls House Speaker PositionVideo Paul Ryan Mulls House Speaker Position

    Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, said that he is considering running for House speaker “with reluctance,” but that he is worried about the consequences of not stepping up.

    By REUTERS on Publish DateOctober 21, 2015.
    Photo by Zach Gibson/The New York Times.Watch in Times Video »

    Speaker John A. 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. Ryan’s request that they decide whether to support him by Friday. The full House is to vote on a speaker the following Thursday.

    Even before formally announcing his willingness to serve, Mr. Ryan met earlier on Tuesday with leaders of the Freedom Caucus in his ornate office just steps from the House floor, a perk of his dream job as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

    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. Mr. Ryan made no commitments and the Freedom Caucus leaders emerged unpersuaded, participants said.

    Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who introduced a motion in July to oust Mr. Boehner, described it as “a very productive and cordial meeting” but said the group left still supporting Mr. Webster.

    “Eighty percent of the Freedom Caucus can take any kind of position that it wants,” Mr. Meadows said just before Mr. Ryan’s announcement. “Certainly right now, it is still supporting Dan Webster because he has made the most compelling case.”

    Mr. Meadows said that for Mr. Ryan to win the support of the Freedom Caucus, he would need to make “a compelling case on how we change the status quo and start doing business from the bottom up not the top down.” But in his remarks in the Capitol basement, lawmakers said Mr. Ryan focused more on what he was demanding from his colleagues than on specific changes he was willing to make in how the House operates.

    The Freedom Caucus has prepared a long questionnaire for speaker candidates and several members of the group have said they expected any candidate — including Mr. Ryan — to address them. Mr. Ryan was to meet with the entire group later Wednesday.

    Freedom Caucus: Snapshots of Five Members

    Some of Mr. Ryan’s remarks on Tuesday evening were clearly a direct challenge to the faction of his party that undermined Mr. Boehner.

    “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. Ryan said at a news conference. 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.”

    “The idea that the government should do less,” he said, “and do it better.”

    Mr. Boehner, at a news conference on Wednesday morning, endorsed Mr. Ryan. But he noted that the decision was not up to him and acknowledged that it was still uncertain whether Mr. Ryan would be the Republicans’ nominee. “Listen I think Paul Ryan would make a great speaker, but this decision is up to the members,” he said. “I think last night went very well and hopefully by the end of the week, we’ll have a nominee.”

    Mr. Boehner is not the only leader on Capitol Hill who has been singing Mr. Ryan’s praises, and it is not clear all the praise would help. On Tuesday, Mr. Ryan got the unusual backing of the Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada — an endorsement that presumably does not go over well with members of the Freedom Caucus.

    Mr. Ryan, who has three young children, has said he is unwilling to sacrifice his family time to serve in leadership. He was pressed on how much support he was demanding from the Republican conference.

    “Would you want a unanimous vote?” a reporter asked.

    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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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Paul Ryan because of his pro-immigration, pro-amnesty and pro-free trade treason positions is totally the wrong person to be Speaker of the House of Representatives. He actually shouldn't even be in the US House of Representatives. He should resign, go home to Wisconsin and be with his family.

    Wake Up Wisconsin voters, remove Paul Ryan from the US Congress. He supports everything that has destroyed our nation and bankrupted the American People.
    JohnK and artist like this.
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