Huelskamp: Paul Ryan Willing to Keep Jeffersonian Rule on Speakership–if Congress Neuters It

Thomas Jefferson (L) and Paul Ryan AP Photos
AP Photos

Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) spokesperson, Brendan Buck, attempted to “clear a few things up” over backlash from conservatives about one of Ryan’s conditions for running for Speaker of the House, which reportedly would have repealed a rule put into place by Founding Father and President Thomas Jefferson. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), however, is viewing Buck’s clarification as Ryan’s demand being withdrawn.

Huelskamp posted on Twitter in response to Buck’s attempt to clear the air: “‪@BrendanBuck‪ First demand withdrawn. Thomas Jefferson would be relieved. #speaker.”

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The National Review noted that Ryan – among a list of demands to run for Speaker of the House – wanted to repeal the motion to vacate the chair, the procedure used by Rep. Mark Meadows and the House Freedom Caucus to oust Rep. John Boehner (R-OH).

The procedure to vacate the chair was put into place by Founding Father and President Thomas Jefferson, according to the National Review.

After backlash to Ryan’s demand, Buck responded in a series of three posts on Twitter:

Hey folks. Allow me to clear a few things up. Ryan is not proposing to eliminate the motion to vacate.

It should exist. The process for how it can be used, however, should be changed. Open to different approaches.

Also, he is supportive of rules changes. He just wants those rules to be written as an entire conference, as they affect everyone.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning reacted to Buck’s tweets to Breitbart News, saying, “Representative Ryan and those leaking on his behalf have repeatedly made it clear that he will only serve as Speaker if he is anointed. Attempts to walk back this arrogance is a sure sign that he has likely overplayed his hand.”

Conservative members of the House responded to Ryan’s position, saying doing away with that rule would be “a non-starter” and calling Ryan’s demand’s “unreasonable.”


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