Tags: Freedom Caucus | Rep. Paul Ryan | Speaker | House

Freedom Caucus: We're Not Ready to Back Paul Ryan Yet

Freedom Caucus: We're Not Ready to Back Paul Ryan Yet
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Wednesday, 21 October 2015 10:55 AM

Conservative Republicans are not ready to back Rep. Paul Ryan for speaker of the House of Representatives.

Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona — a member of the House Freedom Caucus that helped drive John Boehner out of office — said Wednesday on National Public Radio: "I'm hopeful, but you try not to jump yet. We'll find out hopefully over the next 48 hours."

Rep. Matt Salmon, also of Arizona and a founding member of the caucus, told Politico: "I think the issue of process reforms are going to have to be addressed one way or another before the Freedom Caucus wholesale jumps in bed with him."

And another Freedom Caucus member, interviewed by Politico, noted Ryan will have difficulty the approval of 80 percent of the group's members for an endorsement, told Politico:

"I got the sense that Paul Ryan was not willing to look at rule changes before [a vote on] Oct. 29, and without that I don't see him getting 80 percent," the caucus member said.

Ryan, the party's 2012 vice presidential candidate, said Tuesday he'll consider the job, but only if all Republicans unite behind him. He gave GOP lawmakers until Friday to decide.

Some of his terms could anger the conservative bloc that badgered Boehner until he said last month he would retire. The bloc then opposed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who bowed out of the race to replace Boehner.

The GOP's leadership turmoil comes ahead of key deadlines facing Congress. On Nov. 3, the United States will reach its debt limit and on Dec. 11 the current federal budget to fund the government expires.

Asked if the House will be organized in time to raise the debt ceiling, Schweikert said: "Of course. The full faith and credit of the United States will be fine. It will be protected."

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole said on Wednesday he expects Ryan to win the support of most conservatives this week but backing on the House floor was less clear.

"What Paul's pointed out is that we just have to operate by regular order ... and work as a team," Cole said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

Boehner is expected to announce later Wednesday the date for Republicans to nominate their candidate for speaker. If Ryan decides against running, Republicans could face more chaos as it is unclear who would emerge as a front-runner.

Some members of the Freedom Caucus have backed Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida for speaker while another candidate, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, dropped out.

Rep. David Jolly, another Florida Republican, said on C-SPAN he still endorsed Webster but that if Ryan decided to run and ultimately won the party' support in conference, he would vote for him on the House floor.

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Conservative Republicans are not ready to back Rep. Paul Ryan for speaker of the House of Representatives.
Freedom Caucus, Rep. Paul Ryan, Speaker, House
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 10:55 AM
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