The White House is open to the idea of Rep. Paul Ryan as the next Speaker of the House, saying the Wisconsin Congressman had worked with the administration on issues they care about in the past.
“The president believes that Congressman Ryan is someone who has given considerable thought to the significant issues that must be worked through in Congress,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz explained during a press briefing this afternoon.
Schultz singled out Ryan for working with the administration to grant the Obama administration trans-Pacific trade authority, and his efforts to work with them on immigration.
He added, however, that Ryan had “vastly different approaches” on other issues, but pointed out that he “commands respect” from Republicans as a member of the 2012 presidential ticket.
After losing the Presidential election on a ticket with Mitt Romney, Ryan promoted immigration reform with a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and expedited legalization for children of illegal immigrants who attend college.
Ryan also took the lead in promoting trade negotiation authority for the Obama administration, a decision that angered many populist conservatives.
Schultz argued that the next Speaker of the House should be willing to work with Democrats, in spite of the difficulties of uniting the Republican caucus.
“We hope that who ever is the next speaker assumes that role with a willingness and an interest to work with Democrats, not just in Congress but within the administration,” he said.