Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Paul Ryan Announces Candidacy for Speaker, With Conditions

Drew Thies
Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told the Republican House caucus Tuesday night that he would consider a run for Speaker, if Republicans abide by conditions he set.

Ryan, the current Chair of Ways and Means, previously said he would not run for Speaker but the shakeup in the wake of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision not to seek the chamber’s top post put more pressure on the 45-year-old former vice presidential candidate.

Ryan said he will run for Speaker if he can gain support of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and Republican Study Committee, as well as the more moderate Tuesday Group, reinforcing that he wanted to be a unifier of a party recently plagued by infighting.

RSC Chairman Bill Flores has said that he endorses Ryan for Speaker and will ask the RSC for their support at a weekly lunch today. Charlie Dent, co-chair of the Tuesday group, expects most of the group to support Ryan as well.

Ryan faced more substantial push-back from the Freedom Caucus. Raul Labrador, a member of the caucus, called Ryan’s proposals to strengthen the role of Speaker a “non-starter” and suggested that the Chairman would not receive the 80 percent approval necessary from the caucus for an official endorsement. Daniel Webster, a member previously supported by the Freedom Caucus when running against Kevin McCarthy for the post, still plans on staying in the race for Speaker.

Current Speaker John Boehner released a statement prior to Ryan’s announcement that, “Paul would be a great speaker.” Boehner has said that he wishes to leave his post by the end of the month.

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