The establishment wing of the Republican party is finally getting its wish.
After meeting with House Republicans this evening, Rep. Paul Ryan admitted during a press conference that he was willing to run for Speaker of the House–but only if they met a list of demands of what it would take to get him to run.
“We as a conference should unify now and not after a divisive Speaker election,” Ryan said, calling for Republicans to gather as a team and “move from an opposition party to being a proposition party.”
Ryan’s list of demands appeared to highlight party unity but also party loyalty, as he criticized the chaos in the Republican caucus, leading to Boehner’s resignation.
According to Ryan’s spokesperson Brendan Buck, his demands included a change in the process for motion to “vacate the chair.”
“No matter who is speaker, they cannot be successful with this weapon pointed at them all the time,” Buck told reporters before Ryan’s speech.
Ryan signaled that the partisan brinkmanship had to come to an end.
“We have become the problem,” Ryan said. “If my colleagues entrust me to be the Speaker I want us to become the solution.”
Ryan urged his House colleagues to stop blaming the other party, the president, and the media for blocking their agenda.
“People don’t care about blame, people don’t care about effort, people care about results,” he said, calling for Republicans to embrace “results-driven, common-sense conservatism.”
Ryan admitted that if the conference couldn’t unite behind him, he would be “happy” to remain as chairman of the Ways and Means committee.
“This is not a job I ever wanted and I’ve ever sought,” Ryan said, referring to the situation as a “dire moment” in America.
He also refused to give up time with his family in Janesville, Wisconsin, suggesting he would spend less time fundraising and less time in Washington, D.C.
“I cannot and will not give up my family time,” he said, while vowing he would work hard to make up for lost time if he was elected.
It’s unclear whether or not the House Freedom Caucus will oppose Ryan unanimously or begrudgingly support him. Ryan’s ultimatum might be enough to divide rebel conservatives who will likely face peer pressure from their colleagues to fall in line.
After Ryan spoke with the conference, Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced that he would drop out of the Speaker race in favor of Ryan.
“Right person at the right time,” he wrote briefly on Twitter.
I am out and supporting @RepPaulRyan for Speaker. Right person at the right time.
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) October 20, 2015