Powerful, conservative Republican caucus open to Ryan as next speaker


The leader of the House Republicans’ most powerful conservative caucus said Sunday that his group would consider Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan as the chamber’s next speaker.

“Paul Ryan is a good man,” Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told “Fox News Sunday.” “If he gets in the race, certainly our group would look favorably on him.”

The caucus, which was influential in ousting House Speaker John Boehner last month, has officially endorsed Florida Rep. Daniel Webster, one of the caucus’ roughly 40 members.

However, Jordan said the group would consider Ryan, who as a veteran House committee chairman and 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate is now widely considered the Republicans’ best choice to unite the fractured caucus and become the next speaker.

Ryan, now chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has so far declined to accept invitations, even from Boehner and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

However, he appears to be considering his options while Congress is in recess this week.

Jordan on Sunday said that Ryan — or whoever becomes the next speaker — can no longer run the chamber from an authoritarian, top-down style.

“No more business as usual,” said Jordan, whose group wants to see more bills from rank-and-file members get full floor votes and House leaders awarding committee chairmanships to a wider range of members.

He pointed out that in 2012 Boehner removed conservative Rep. Tim Huelskamp, of Kansas, from assignments on the Budget and Agriculture committees, after Huelskamp voted against a budget proposed by Ryan, who was then the Budget committee chairman.

“That kind of stuff has to stop,” Jordan said. “This place has got to change.”

Jordan also dismissed criticism that his group refuses to compromise on a new leader, despite having only about 40 of the 218 votes needed to appoint a House speaker.

The GOP House conference postponed its internal speakership vote last week after the presumptive favorite, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, abruptly quit the race, amid speculation he didn’t have the support or votes. However, the full chamber vote is still scheduled for Oct. 29.

“Of course we’re willing to compromise,” Jordan said.



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