Paul Ryan’s Plans Stopped Cold by Trump, Cruz Insurgency

Paul Ryan
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Bloomberg’s Billy House writes that House Speaker Paul Ryan is “struggling to do the most basic duties of Congress” because the popularity of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz has crippled his agenda.

From Bloomberg Politics:

It was never going to be easy for House Speaker Paul Ryan to cut through the noise of a presidential campaign and chart out a course of conservative policies for the Republican Party.

But the bombast and divisiveness of the presidential campaign has left Ryan struggling to do the most basic duties of Congress.

With the two Republican front-runners — Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz — effectively running against Congress and the rest of the Republican establishment, Ryan more than ever needs to deliver on some kind of agenda in his first full year as speaker. Otherwise, he could help cement Congress as a distinctly junior partner in a Trump or Cruz presidency.

His biggest problem is that the policies and rhetoric of his party’s presidential front-runners have become unusually out of step with a large portion of Republicans in Congress, notes Joshua Huder, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute.

“Ryan has to navigate what’s best for his conference amidst one of the more major upheavals of his party,” Huder said. “He’ll either need to lay low and let the fight play out in the presidential race, or he’ll need to outline priorities that protect his conference at the expense of his party’s nominee.”

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