Will Ryan Be Forced Out Of The Speakership Before The Election?
Some Republicans are suggesting that Paul Ryan should be pushed out as Speaker before the November elections.
When Paul Ryan announced yesterday that he was not seeking re-election to the House seat he’s held since first being elected in 1998, he made it clear that he intended to stay on board as Speaker of the House through the end of the current term of Congress. Less than a day after his announcement, though, there are already reports that some segments of the Republican Party are calling on him to step aside sooner so that Republicans can pick new leadership heading into the 2018 midterms:
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s retirement announcement Wednesday morning set off a round of heartburn within the White House and among its allies over the damage that may be done in what’s left of his term.
And while publicly no lawmaker is yet discussing a push to get the speaker to leave early, certain quarters of the Republican Party and Capitol Hill want him out of Congress right away rather than in early 2019.
Sources inside the Trump White House tell The Daily Beast that their primary concern following Ryan’s announcement was that more fellow House Republicans would follow him to the exits, enhancing the likelihood that Democrats gain control of the chamber. That fear seemed at least partially realized when Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) said that he too would be retiring from Congress minutes after the Ryan news broke.
But the concerns extend beyond 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and aren’t just about the possibility of GOP lawmaker exodus that may soon transpire. On the Hill, there is fear that a lame-duck speaker all but guarantees a legislative logjam, as no lawmaker will now feel compelled to take a tough vote at Ryan’s insistence. There is also an appetite within the Republican caucus to get new leadership in right away, with the front runners being Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).
Axios, which first reported the news of Ryan’s departure yesterday morning, is reporting similar scuttlebutt on Capitol Hill:
What we’re hearing: One source close to leadership told us: “Scuttlebutt is that Paul will have to step down from speakership soon. Members won’t follow a lame duck, he’ll have no leverage to cut deals, and the last thing they need in this environment is 6 months of palace intrigue and everyone stabbing everyone else in the back.”