Two days ago, Paul Ryan announced that he would run for House Speaker, but only if his demands were met, and were met by Friday. “Mr. Ryan made it clear that he would not accede to preconditions set by “one group,” a clear reference to the members of the hard-line Freedom Caucus, which helped push Speaker John A. Boehner into retirement. Now it may be those same hard-liners who are feeling pressure to fall in line behind Mr. Ryan.” Ryan is demanding support across the Republican conference and says he wants to be “that unifying candidate.” However, polling data reveals that a Ryan Speakership would do anything but unite the party. At least 93% of GOP electorate opposes Paul Ryan on immigration.
First, Paul Ryan refuses to agree to anything in advance of being elected speaker. He will not pre-commit to anything the Freedom Caucus wants.
Second, He wants the Freedom Caucus to publicly endorse him for speaker anyway. This would require four-fifths of the Freedom Caucus to vote to support him.
Third, he want the Freedom Caucus to agree to rule changes that would vastly limit their power moving forward. Specifically, he wants to eliminate their ability to oust a sitting speaker by making a motion to “Vacate The Chair.” This is where, fundamentally, the Freedom Caucus derives much of their power.
What the House Freedom Caucus SAID they wanted:
- The House Freedom Caucus essentially wants to make it impossible for the next speaker to raise the debt ceiling. But that is just the beginning.
- The group of conservative hardliners wants to “decentralize” the Steering Committee, the panel that decides committee assignments. The HFC wanted to strip the speaker and majority leader of their outsized influence on the panel.
- The HFC wanted to know if the new speaker would agree to only pass a debt limit increase if it included entitlement reform.
- They asked if the candidates would commit to impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
- The HFC asked if the new speaker would commit to passing all 12 spending bills, and “not acquiesce to a continuing resolution in the event Senate Democrats try to block the appropriations process.”
- The House Freedom Caucus wants the next speaker to commit to not funding the government at all unless President Obama (and Senate Democrats) agree to defund Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and a host of other priorities. The government will run out of money on December 11. Unless additional funding is approved before that date, the government will shut down.
- The House Freedom Caucus wants the next speaker to commit to oppose any “omnibus” bill that would keep the government running. Rather, funding for each aspect of government could only be approved by separate bills. This would allow the Republicans to attempt to finance certain favored aspects of government (the military), while shuttering ones they view as largely unnecessary (education, health).
Although many conservatives across the country made phone calls, sent emails, tweeted and posted on Facebook and other social media, it appears that the self-described ultra conservatives of the House Freedom Caucus is anything but! Thirteen hours ago, the House Freedom Caucus posted this:
House Freedom Caucus Statement on Chairman Paul Ryan’s Speaker Bid
Washington, D.C. – The House Freedom Caucus issued the following statement
regarding Chairman Paul Ryan’s bid for Speaker:
“A supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus has voted to support Paul Ryan’s bid to become the next Speaker of the House. Paul is a policy entrepreneur who has developed conservative reforms dealing with a wide variety of subjects, and he has promised to be an ideas-focused Speaker who will advance limited government principles and devolve power to the membership. While no consensus exists among members of the House Freedom Caucus regarding Chairman Ryan’s preconditions for serving, we believe that these issues can be resolved within our Conference in due time. 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.” ###
Curious who the members are of the House Freedom Caucus? See the picture on the right.
10 Freedom Caucus Members Publicly Reject Paul Ryan, Enough To Doom His Candidacy For Speaker – (Click the link to find out the 10 that initially rejected Ryan.) Although reports are that Matt Salman (AZ) has since relented.
NOTE: I would like to clear up stating a few days ago on Facebook that Randy Weber was not one of the holdouts in the House Freedom Caucus. I sourced an article that was apparently not fully accurate, and I apologize to Randy and all who took the information on as fact. I’ve spoken with Randy and would like to now give you a quote from him for the record. “Truth is it got down to 5 hold outs of which I was not only “one” but actually “led the charge” to keep the HFC from achieving a “super majority of 80% to give Ryan the HFC’s “unconditional endorsement.” I apologize for passing on misinformation.
Get on the phone and call the members of the House Freedom Caucus. Call your representative. Melt down the phone lines. We CAN Make a difference!
In the private meeting inside the House Ways and Means Committee hearing room in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, chairman promised the House Freedom Caucus the world to try to earn their official endorsement. He failed.
Among the things that Ryan promised the members were a return to regular order, changes to the steering committee that decides committee assignments centralizing power in the Speaker’s office—Ryan even promised to give up the Speaker’s five votes on the committee—and an end to retaliation against Republican members who vote their conscience.
He reiterated his promise made in the full GOP conference on Tuesday of no amnesty bill under President Obama—which conspicuously did not extend to the next president—and an end to crisis-to-crisis governance under outgoing Speaker Boehner. He also promised more “regional representation” rather than representation centralized in the Speaker’s office.
There were only two catches to Ryan’s litany of promises: first, those present couldn’t tell the public what just happened because, Ryan argued, it would infuriate the other side of the House GOP conference. And Ryan would get what he wanted with significant changes to a House rule that was put in place back in the early 1800s by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president and the author of America’s Declaration of Independence from King George.