After Opposing Procedure Under Which It Was Negotiated, Paul Ryan Will Support Budget Deal

Yesterday, Paul Ryan spoke out against the procedure under which the new budget deal was negotiated. Today, he announced that he'll vote for it anyway.

Paul Ryan Speaking

Despite denouncing the process under which the two-year budget deal announced yesterday was negotiated, Paul Ryan, who will likely easily be selected by House Republicans as their candidate for Speaker in tomorrow’s vote, said this morning that he will vote for the package:

After sharply criticizing how it came together, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan announced he would support the budget deal Wednesday.

“What I’ve heard from members over the last two weeks is a desire to wipe the slate clean, put in place a process that builds trust, and start focusing on big ideas,” Ryan said in a statement. “What has been produced will go a long way toward relieving the uncertainty hanging over us, and that’s why I intend to support it. It’s time for us to turn the page on the last few years and get to work on a bold agenda that we can take to the American people.”

Ryan will stand before his House Republican colleagues Wednesday morning in a closed election to be the next speaker of the House. He has assured his GOP colleagues that he would not cut deals in this manner, even going as far as saying the process “stinks.” In his statement Wednesday morning, he reiterated that if he’s elected speaker, “we will begin a conversation about how to approach these big issues – as a team – long before we reach these kinds of deadlines. We simply can’t keep doing business this way.”

Some conservative Republicans have said they would carefully watch how Ryan votes on this package. North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, a Freedom Caucus leader, called on all speaker candidates to oppose the bipartisan deal.

Despite Meadows comments, it appears that the Freedom Caucus and other House conservatives will be giving Ryan a pass on the deal:

Paul Ryan is getting a pass.

Conservative lawmakers in the House Freedom Caucus say they’re satisfied that the Wisconsin Republican is just as aggravated as they are with how the $80 billion budget and debt ceiling deal set to pass Congress this week was negotiated.

And the package won’t affect their support of Ryan for speaker, they say.

“He shares the frustration that we do and he wants to do better and be different. I think we have to take him at his word and he is being sincere,” said Idaho Rep. Raúl Labrador, a founding member of the Freedom Caucus. “We need to give him a chance to show what kind of a leader he will be, if he is lucky enough to be elected speaker. It’s not his deal, but I do think he needs to be vocal about how he would have done it differently.”

Ryan, who is expected to be elected speaker on Thursday, was not among the negotiators who forged the budget agreement. But he does stand to benefit politically from it — immensely. The deal would remove the two biggest threats he would have otherwise faced in his first year as speaker, a potential government shutdown and a first-ever default on the national debt that would wreak havoc with the world economy.

The agreement, which could come to a vote in the House as soon as Wednesday, would increase federal spending by $80 billion over two years and extend federal borrowing authority until March 2017. Freedom Caucus members said being presented with a 144-page bill, just days before the House is scheduled to vote on it, is indicative of the top-down leadership they’ve been fighting against.

Freedom Caucus members are taking Ryan at his word that he would not have endorsed the secretive process that produced the pact. “It stinks,” he said Tuesday.

“Under new management we are not going to do the people’s business this way,” Ryan added. “We are up against a deadline — that’s unfortunate. … (But) as a conference we should’ve been meeting months ago to discuss these things to have a unified strategy going forward.”

Ryan has assured Freedom Caucus members that he’ll have a more open process when elected speaker.

The fact that Ryan followed up yesterday’s criticism of the process that led to the deal with the announcement that he would be supporting it on the floor anyway is a fairly strong indication that whatever opposition may be left to his election as Speaker over the next two days will be minimal at beast. Apparently, Florida Congressman Daniel Webster, who the Freedom Caucus had selected as its preferred candidate earlier this month when it appeared that he would be going up against Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, is still in the race and may get a handful of votes in the Caucus vote today and on the floor tomorrow. However, it’s unlikely that Webster will get more than a handful of protests votes either in the Caucus vote today or on the floor tomorrow. Despite their earlier protests, the Freedom Caucus and other conference members seem to have realized both that Ryan is likely the best they were going to get when it comes to candidates for Speaker and that there was next to nothing they could to stop either his ascension or the deal announced Monday night.

As I have noted already, Ryan has played an interesting game with respect to this budget deal over the past twenty-four hours. Notwithstanding the fact that he was not part of the negotiations themselves, it seems to me to be something of a stretch to say that, as Chairman of the Ways And Means Committee, he had no idea that they were going on or what the general terms of the negotiation were. Even taking into account the fact that his criticisms of the process itself are well-founded, he is likely quite pleased with the fact that the budget, if it passes both the House and Senate and makes its way to the President, takes many contentious issues that he would otherwise have to deal with in his early months as Speaker off the table. The fact that the insurgent caucus is basically giving him a pass on it is just icing on the cake.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Tea Party, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Despite denouncing the process under which the two-year budget deal announced yesterday was negotiated, Paul Ryan, who will likely easily be selected by House Republicans as their candidate for Speaker in tomorrow’s vote, said this morning that he will vote for the package:

    Oh I think his words “denouncing” the process that led to the budget deal, were nothing but so much kabuki. It was a freebie for Ryan, intended to synch up with the tea party and freedom caucus people.

  2. C. Clavin says:

    Ryan doesn’t like the process?
    BS – Ryan is simply cementing his status as the most mendacious mf’er in a city full of mendacious mf’ers.
    One of the biggest provisions changes the Social Security Disability Insurance program…and those changes came directly from the House Ways and Means Committee…which Ryan chairs. Quelle surprise!!!
    Doug, try taking a lesson from James’ post this morning…and wake up to reality.

  3. CCRevival says:

    Only idiots (and we all know who I’m talking about) would believe that Ryan is both outraged and clueless about the deal. Boehner and Co. must have told him beforehand as another way to help Ryan accept the job as Speaker. Now he does not need to worry about this issue until after the elections. Boehner never had it this good.

  4. Ron Beasley says:

    The Republican House has a “freedom Caucus”, what it really needs is a “sane caucus” that will compromise with Democrats to do the job of governing. The Hastert rule should be dumped especially since the author of the rule has been exposed as a sick pedophile who will be spending a few months in prison. A few months in prison is not nearly enough for this low life and if I had my way he would die in prison.

  5. Gustopher says:

    RINO. Pathetic.

  6. James Pearce says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Oh I think his words “denouncing” the process that led to the budget deal, were nothing but so much kabuki.

    Kabuki? It’s straight up Lion King, people playing animals, big two story masks.

    But still, Ryan is a clever dude. He’s giving the appearance that he’s criticizing the process, but if you listen carefully he’s actually criticizing the Republicans’ role in the process:

    “This is not the way to do the people’s business, and under new management, we are not going to do the people’s business this way,” he added. “We are up against a deadline. That’s unfortunate. But going forward, as a conference, we should have been meeting months ago to discuss these things, to have a unified strategy going forward.”

    “Going forward” twice in the same sentence.

    He wants us to know the winds have shifted, and with the budget deal, it appears they have. I also think this is the first hint that Republicans in Congress don’t expect to have the White House anytime soon, and that they wish to create a less unruly body that is more appealing to voters next year in order to gird their numbers.

  7. stonetools says:

    @James Pearce:

    The problem here is that Ryan is whispering that, whereas the Freedom Caucus and their media fellow travelers have been loudly proclaiming that the budget deal is a dastardly betrayal of conservative principles. This means that his calls for a “unified strategy’ is DOA., and will be until the Republicans get hammered at the polls.

  8. Pete S says:

    @James Pearce: This is a key point – the process is ridiculous and it was made ridiculous by his own party. I don’t for a minute support Paul Ryan or any of the House Republicans. But publicly opposing the brinksmanship then supporting the deal is actually better than I expected from him.

  9. Tillman says:

    @CCRevival: Let’s be fair to Boehner though. He got the speakership from a competing party, not from someone cleaning up the political messes they couldn’t fix on their own without retiring.

    Huh. Being fair to Boehner doesn’t improve his standing.

  10. James Pearce says:

    @stonetools:

    whereas the Freedom Caucus and their media fellow travelers have been loudly proclaiming that the budget deal is a dastardly betrayal of conservative principles.

    I’m unsurprised by the hyperbole or the sore loser aspect of it. The fact of the matter is, though, that they’re not going to spend the next year and a half bitching about it.

    I have no real reason to believe in their competence, but I suspect Republican efforts over the next year will be spent putting together a “Ryan budget” that can make it to Hillary Clinton’s desk, and maybe even survive a veto. I also suspect the Freedom Caucus guys will be thrown some red meat in that budget.

    If so, their bitching now is also Lion King kabuki.

  11. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @James Pearce: Good luck on that creating a less unruly body thing, Speaker Ryan.

  12. gVOR08 says:

    @Ron Beasley: Hastert has said there wasn’t really a Hastert rule. I guess the Hastert Rule is more what you’d call a Hastert guideline than an actual rule.

  13. James Pearce says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Good luck on that creating a less unruly body thing, Speaker Ryan.

    He’s going to need it, that’s for sure.

    But I’m sure Sun Tzu had some maxim about not banking on your adversary’s failure, but preparing for their success.