House Republicans are frantically trying to convince Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to run for Speaker of the House, but there is a problem, the same Republicans who sunk John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy may target Ryan next.
After leaving the House Republican Conference in a state of suspended upheaval, the rebellious group of conservative lawmakers that helped oust one speaker then short-circuited his would-be successor is intentionally laying low and deciding how to respond if Rep. Paul Ryan decides to run for speaker.
But conservatives strongly disagree with Ryan’s position on immigration and his role in crafting the bipartisan 2013 Ryan-Murray budget deal. He’s been criticized by the far right for being a staunch proponent of immigration reform and his work with Democrats to find a compromise to address the growing number of illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
The conservatives in the House want a Speaker who is ideologically pure. They want someone who will commit to running the House their way. Paul Ryan fits neither of these requirements. If Ryan were Speaker, he would behave a lot like the current House leadership. Ryan wouldn’t trigger government shutdowns, and he wouldn’t fight the ideological fight on non-economic issues that conservatives in the House are lusting after.
If Ryan runs for Speaker, it is possible that the conservatives will deny him the votes he needs to be elected. There have long been rumors that Ryan doesn’t want the Speaker job because his long-term goal involves running for the Senate and/or White House. The last thing Paul Ryan needs is to be next failed stepdad who tried to lead the dysfunctional House Republican family.
House Republicans are looking for Paul Ryan to be their white knight, but the latest GOP savior could drown in a swamp of conservative crazy.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association