Paul Ryan

Ryan Pushes Immigration Vote Until Next Week

Speaker Paul Ryan surprised Capitol Hill by delaying a vote on a “compromise“ immigration package until next week, as GOP leaders search for a way to get 218 votes to pass the measure, Politico reports.

“Ryan told lawmakers that leadership may add an E-Verify mandate — an online system that allows employers to confirm the eligibility of employees to work in the United States — as well as other provisions called for by rural state lawmakers to the package.”

Ryan Dismisses Trump’s Charges of Spy in His Campaign

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) sided with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) who had said that the FBI did nothing wrong by using a confidential informant to contact members of President Trump’s campaign as it investigated its ties to Russia, the New York Times reports.

And he warned that Mr. Trump should not try to pardon himself: “I think obviously the answer is he shouldn’t. And no one is above the law.”

Ryan Losing Grip on House GOP Conference

Speaker Paul Ryan “is losing his grip on the feuding House Republican conference just months before pivotal midterm elections, caught between dueling factions vying for power inside the party and facing scattered calls for his departure ahead of a planned year-end retirement,” the Washington Post reports.

“But there is no clear way out for the party. Numerous aides and lawmakers said Tuesday there is not a viable alternative to Ryan who can win enough support within the GOP for a clean transition before November — and there is little stomach at the moment for the messy battle that would ensue when Ryan departs.”

Ryan Pushes Back on Pressure for Early Exit

Speaker Paul Ryan defended himself “amid reports of threats to his leadership position and reiterated his view that it’s not in Republicans best interest to have a divisive leadership race before the November midterm elections,” Roll Call reports.

Said Ryan: “Obviously I serve at the pleasure of the members; those are the people who drafted me in this job the first place. But I think we all agree the best thing for us is to complete our agenda and not wedge into the completion of our agenda divisive leadership elections.”

Playbook: “More than two years after running for speaker for the first time, Ryan is still reminding people he was drafted into the speakership. He’s making clear that he isn’t clinging to power — this job wasn’t even his first choice. But what would happen if he were to leave right now? Chaos, most likely, in the middle of an election year.”

Ryan Facing Growing Doubts About Hold on Speakership

“Top House Republicans are privately questioning whether retiring Speaker Paul Ryan can make it through Election Day. No one’s plotting to take him out at this point, and Ryan insists he’s not going anywhere. But rank-and-file Republicans, including moderates who’ve been unflinchingly loyal to Ryan during his three-year tenure, have become increasingly willing to defy the lame-duck leader. And White House officials have also discussed whether Ryan should remain in the job, administration sources said, though there is no effort by the Trump White House to push out Ryan.”

“The doubts have been fueled by a series of high-profile embarrassments for the Wisconsin Republican. The most recent was the collapse of the Republican farm bill on the House floor Friday. But centrist Republicans have also backed Ryan into a corner on immigration, the most contentious issue facing the party. And this week, those moderates are expected to reach the 218-vote threshold needed to force bipartisan votes to protect Dreamers — despite Ryan’s effort to stop them.”

Mulvaney Wants Ryan to Step Down

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney “strongly endorsed the idea that House speaker Paul Ryan should step down in order to trigger an election that would force House Democrats to vote for unpopular Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi,” the Weekly Standard reports.

Said Mulvaney: “I’ve talked with Kevin about this privately but not as much publicly. Wouldn’t it be great to force a Democrat running in a tight race to have to put up or shut up about voting for Nancy Pelosi eight weeks before an election? That’s a really, really good vote for us to force if we can figure out how to do it.”

Republicans Move to Force DACA Vote In Defiance of Ryan

“House GOP moderates are defying Speaker Paul Ryan and trying to force a vote codifying Obama-era protections for young undocumented immigrants on the House floor,” Politico reports.

“Reps. Carlos Curbelo of Florida,Will Hurd of Texas, and Jeff Denham and David Valadao of California filed a discharge petition Wednesday that would trigger a series of votes on different immigration bills if 218 members sign on. If every Democrat supports the idea, which sources said is likely, 20 Republicans would have to break ranks and join them to trigger the votes.”

“Two sources intimately involved in the effort say at least 15 Republicans are ready to join.”

Ryan Warns of Gridlock, Subpoenas If Democrats Win

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) “warned that Democratic gains in November’s congressional elections could make it impossible to get anything accomplished and expose President Trump’s administration to more aggressive oversight,” Bloomberg reports.

Ryan added that should Republicans lose control of either the House or Senate, “you’ll have gridlock, you’ll have subpoenas,” with the whole legislative system “shutting down.”

Ryan Suddenly Ousts House Chaplain

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) dismissed the Rev. Patrick Conroy this month as chaplain of the chamber, “an unusual decision that angered some of the Jesuit priest’s allies in Congress,” the Washington Post reports.

“During Thursday evening votes, after news broke of Conroy’s dismissal, lawmakers in both parties voiced concern, particularly Catholics.”

New York Times: “Father Conroy’s resignation is all the more contentious in Catholic circles because Mr. Ryan is a Catholic conservative, whereas Father Conroy is a Jesuit, a branch that is viewed by some as more liberal.”

Ryan Snuffs Out Efforts to Accelerate His Departure

Washington Post: “Inside a closed-door meeting of lawmakers at the Capitol Hill Club, Ryan told his fellow Republicans that he had spoken to virtually all of the top GOP donors with whom he has developed relationships over his two-and-a-half years as speaker and had gotten assurances that they would continue to give through the 2018 cycle.”

“That was widely interpreted as a direct rebuttal to fears that Ryan’s fundraising would drop off a cliff as he remains a lame duck — which emerged last week as a prime argument for a quicker departure. Ryan said … that no fundraisers have been canceled and that he fully intended to maintain, if not exceed, his current fundraising pace in the coming months.”

Paul Ryan Was No Visionary

Ross Douthat: “The mistake about Paul Ryan, the one that both friends and foes made over the years between his Obama-era ascent and his just-announced departure from the House speakership, was to imagine him as a potential protagonist for our politics, a lead actor in the drama of conservatism, a visionary or a villain poised to put his stamp upon the era.”

“But the real Ryan was never suited for these roles. He was miscast as a visionary when he was fundamentally a party man — a diligent and policy-oriented champion for whatever the institutional G.O.P. appeared to want, a pilot who ultimately let the party choose the vessel’s course. And because the institutional G.O.P. during his years was like a bayou airboat with a fire in its propeller and several alligators wrestling midship, an unhappy end for his career was all-but-foreordained.”

Paul Ryan, Flimflam Man

Paul Krugman: “Incredibly, I’m seeing some news reports about his exit that portray him as a serious policy wonk and fiscal hawk who, sadly, found himself unable to fulfill his mission in the Trump era. Unbelievable.”

“Look, the single animating principle of everything Ryan did and proposed was to comfort the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted. Can anyone name a single instance in which his supposed concern about the deficit made him willing to impose any burden on the wealthy, in which his supposed compassion made him willing to improve the lives of the poor?”

“And his ‘deficit reduction’ proposals were always frauds. The revenue loss from tax cuts always exceeded any explicit spending cuts, so the pretense of fiscal responsibility came entirely from ‘magic asterisks’: extra revenue from closing unspecified loopholes, reduced spending from cutting unspecified programs. I called him a flimflam man back in 2010, and nothing he has done since has called that judgment into question.”

Paul Ryan’s Party Is Over

James Hohmann: “In an alternative universe, Paul Ryan is vice president. It’s his sixth year in the White House, and he is the presumptive Republican nominee to succeed Mitt Romney in 2020.”

“In another intriguing counterfactual, Eric Cantor is speaker of the House and Ryan is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.”

“Romney’s struggles to secure the GOP nomination in 2012 over a historically weak field of has-beens and Cantor’s unexpected downfall in a 2014 primary both offered early warning signs of the potent forces that would propel Donald Trump to the presidency.”

“Ryan, who not long ago was considered both the GOP’s ideological standard-bearer and its future, has become a stranger of sorts in his own party.”

David Hopkins: “It’s impossible to understand Ryan’s speakership without understanding the bizarre circumstances under which he came to power. “

Who Will Replace Ryan as House GOP Leader?

Playbook: “A quick election benefits McCarthy. He’s already the majority leader, and the natural heir to the top slot.”

“But, McCarthy and Scalise are plotting — they’re always plotting. Even when an election is not on the horizon. These are two men who know exactly how everyone feels about them. They know who’s with them, and who isn’t. They know the pockets they are weakest in. Neither man is starting from scratch when it comes to making a move.”

“Right now, Scalise and McCarthy are in a tough spot. Neither man knows what he is running for. If Ryan does stay speaker until the election, the top GOP slot could be speaker or minority leader, depending on the election outcome. Those are two very different races. Speaker needs 218 — the majority of the House. McCarthy belly flopped on that when Ryan became speaker. Minority leader needs half of the GOP conference. No one will know what that number is until after the election.”

Key point: “The Freedom Caucus — the strongest pocket of conservatives — benefits in a speaker election where the leading candidate doesn’t have 218 votes.”