Politico: Speaker Ryan Is Losing Clout, Gaining Critics

Paul Ryan
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Retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan is losing clout and gaining new critics as his January retirement lifts the lid on intra-party conflicts, says Politico, which reported Monday that:

“The conference is in open warfare. Paul has run out of juice,” said a senior Republican lawmaker who wants a speaker vote to happen soon and requested anonymity to speak frankly. “It became clear on Friday that it’s time to let go.”

The Ryan-exit chatter spiked Friday when Ryan failed to pass the farm bill, and again on Monday after word spread about pro-exit comments from President Donald’s Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney.

Mulvaney — a former GOP representative — revealed that he had suggested to Ryan’s likely successor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, that a quick Ryan exit would force Democrats to case a pre-election vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi during the all-House vote to pick the next Speaker. The comments were delivered in Colorado, on Sunday, according to the Weekly Standard:

“I’ve talked with Kevin about this privately but not as much publicly,” Mulvaney replied. “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.”

On Monday, Politico added to the pressure by highlighting the internal fights that Ryan has started losing to subordinates who previously would have complied with his demands. It reported:

some Republicans feel strongly that Ryan is losing his grip on the conference. The farm bill exposed that, they argue, because normally reliable Republicans opposed the bill despite Ryan personally lobbying for their support. Those members included Reps. Fred Upton and Rodney Frelinghuysen.

Another recent episode provided more evidence of Ryan’s waning power. During a private meeting with top Republicans last week, Ryan backed Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) to fill a vacancy on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Republicans typically heed Ryan’s preferences for such openings, but in this case the committee went against the speaker and backed Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) instead.

Ryan has complicated his problems by not backing the high-stakes immigration reform bill drafted by Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Rep. Mike McCaul. The bill would trim legal immigration while upping the inflow of foreign college grads and also granting renewable work permits to the 700,0000 ‘DACA’ illegals. Goodlatte’s bill is strongly opposed by business groups who prefer a large-scale inflow of chain-migration consumers.

Read the Politico article here.

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