A spokesman for House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) confirms yet again that despite all the donor class and political establishment wooing, Ryan is not running to replace outgoing Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker of the House.
“His position has not changed, and I cannot predict if it will,” Brendan Buck, Ryan’s spokesman, told Breitbart News on Wednesday afternoon.
The House of Representatives has been in “Paul Ryan paralysis syndrome” as Ryan’s continued decision to stand by his choice to not run for Speaker “freezes” the business of the House, Politico’s Jake Sherman wrote on Monday.
“The Wisconsin Republican has said he doesn’t want to be speaker of the House, but he is considering it,” Sherman wrote.
And until he flatly rules it out, the other potential candidates for the chamber’s top job — a list nearly two dozen names long and growing — are forced to proceed gingerly. With one breath they’re gauging support, with the next they’re letting would-be backers know their interest could be temporary if the Ways and Means Committee chairman gets in.
There are several candidates who could win 218 votes considering running for Speaker, including Republican Study Committee chairman Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and more.
Sherman notes that House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), Rules Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Armed Service Committee chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), and Agriculture Committee chairman Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)—all, like Flores, from Texas—are also considering Speakership bids.
Freshman Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), a former Commander at Navy SEAL Team Six, is considering a run too. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) is also mulling a bid. House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and former Florida House Speaker Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) are both still running for Speaker after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy dropped out amid lack of GOP support and rumors of an alleged affair that both he and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) deny.
Sherman expects that the Speakership race is on ice until Congress returns next week.
“The race for speaker is practically frozen until Congress returns on Oct. 20 from a weeklong recess,” Sherman wrote.
The fact is it’s impossible for the election to unfold with lawmakers fanned out across the country. Contenders for the job will have to spend a lot of time cajoling support in meetings, candidate forums and phone calls. Nearly every caucus will hold its own candidate forum — leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, for one, have said they expect Ryan to meet with them if he runs.
A precondition for Ryan to get into the race would be that he’d expect conservatives from the House Freedom Caucus and elsewhere GOP conference-wide to drop their push for reforms in the power structure of the House, and anoint him.
Even those Freedom Caucus members like the group’s chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) who have sounded open to a Ryan Speakership have said they can’t back anyone who would ascend to the highest office in the House of Representatives without supporting any changes.
Because Ryan wouldn’t agree to changes in the way business is done, and because of his support for open borders immigration policies, Obamatrade, and things like the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) bailout and more, it would be extraordinarily difficult for many Republicans to vote for him if he runs for Speaker.
So, because of all of that, it’s unlikely many folks who consider Ryan nice or personable would politically be able to support a Speakership bid from him. Given what’s happening in Alabama’s second congressional district, with Tea Party leader Becky Gerritson running against Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) making Roby’s potential support of a potential Ryan bid an issue, that’s likely to catch fire and endanger other incumbent Republicans nationwide. So, to unite the party behind a consensus candidate who doesn’t divide the GOP conference, it looks like Ryan is going to end up deciding to hold strong against the forces pushing him into a Speakership bid.