Paul Ryan Facts: Honesty Missing in Paul Ryan the Politician
Paul Ryan was not endorsed by Freedom Caucus
Exclusive: Paul Ryan Sold House Freedom Caucus a Bill of Goods in Private Meeting on Capitol Hill
In the private meeting inside the House Ways and Means Committee hearing room in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, chairman
(Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) 58% conservative voting score “F”)
promised the House Freedom Caucus the world to try to earn their official endorsement. He failed.
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
Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)37% conservative voting score “F”)
. 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.
That rule of course allows any member to offer a “motion to vacate the chair” as a privileged resolution—allowing members to, if a Speaker is out of control, as Boehner has been, remove a Speaker from power. Ryan wants to severely undercut the power of rank-and-file members to hold a Speaker accountable with a motion to vacate the chair; Ryan’s spokesman has said that no Speaker can “be successful with this weapon pointed at them all the time.” So he wants to keep members from being able to use it whenever necessary, essentially ending the original intent Jefferson had with the check and balance.
So, heading into the meeting with Ryan—which began just after 4 p.m. on Wednesday—there was near-unanimous opposition to Ryan in the House Freedom Caucus. Like Breitbart News, Fox News’ Chad Pergram reported that it was “unlikely” that Ryan received the endorsement of the Freedom Caucus. Almost every member, save for a few like Reps.
Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) (86% B) and Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) 82% B), opposed a Ryan Speakership—and they were agreeing to the meeting simply to be fair. But when Ryan made all these promises to them in there, many of the members believed him at face value.
Ryan’s spokesman Brendan Buck—is a former Boehner staffer.
Several of the members worry that Ryan is untrustworthy and dishonest—given the misleading nature of the way he has sold Republicans in the past on Obamatrade, “doc fix,” the budget deal he cut with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)0%, immigration, and many more issues. Thus, if he moves forward with a bid for the House Speakership after failing to receive the endorsement of the House Freedom Caucus–something he and his office said they would not do–even members in the Freedom Caucus who would have supported him will have reason to believe that Ryan is entirely untrustworthy and dishonest and withdraw their previous support for him.
It remains to be seen what happens next, but Politico is reporting that Ryan may move forward with a Speakership bid—meaning his first move after the Freedom Caucus withheld an endorsement of him would be breaking a promise to them.