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I think a lot of people are jumping the gun a little on this indicating the fracture of the GOP is finally going to happen. I'll just say I see that as becoming likely if the Freedom Caucus deposes Boehner for staying on longer than this month because there is no other speaker.
After repeatedly stating that he was not interested in the job yesterday, the House GOP is doing its best to pressure Paul Ryan into taking the job. I imagine he has no desire to be the GOP equivalent of Ned Stark however ...
Hours before House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) abruptly announced Thursday that he was dropping out of the race for House speaker, a GOP donor reportedly confronted him in an email about an alleged affair with a congressional colleague.
The Huffington Post reported that the email, which it obtained from an anonymous source, was sent by a Chicago-based GOP donor named Steve Baer.
"Kevin, why not resign like Bob Livingston?" the email's subject line read, according to HuffPost. The reference was to a Louisiana Republican who resigned in 1998 over an extramarital affair after being designated as the successor to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA).
Notably, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) sent a letter Wednesday to the chair of the House Republican caucus, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), urging that any leadership candidate take himself out of the running "if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference and the House of Representatives if they become public."
Newt Gingrich said he would consider taking up the Speaker’s gavel again if called upon to by House Republicans.
The former Speaker initially denied any interest in a return to Congress, but when pressed in an interview with radio show host Sean Hannity on Thursday, admitted he would consider it if he had the votes.
“If you were to say to me 218 have called you up and given you their pledge, obviously no citizen could ever turn down that kind of challenge,” Gingrich said, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
Reid told a gaggle of reporters that he was a “Paul Ryan fan” and hoped the former Republican vice presidential nominee got the nod. “He appears to me to be one of the people over there that would be reasonable. I mean look at some of the other people,” Reid said. “…Generally speaking we’ve been able to work with him.”
So quick breakdown of everything that happened since yesterday:
Harry Reid endorsed Paul Ryan in op-ed god tier troll
It was too late as Freedom Caucus decided to hold a vote on Ryan
FC holds vote where 4/5th 'Supermajority' must agree on Ryan to support him
FC narrowly fails to reach 4/5th support
FC says they will support Ryan, but will not meet his demands
Ryan says thanks
The Freedom Caucus’ shrewd counteroffer—no endorsement but a “supermajority” of support, and no rule changes but a promise to consider them later—was suitable to Ryan. “I’m grateful for the support of a supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus,” Ryan said in a statement. “I look forward to hearing from the other two caucuses by the end of the week, but I believe this is a positive step towards a unified Republican team.”
It sounds like Speaker Ryan is a go, and if so, this is an inauspicious start to his tenure. He set terms intended to bring the Freedom Caucus to heel, and the Freedom Caucus didn’t agree to them but came just close enough to agreeing that it believed it’d avoid blame if Ryan bowed out. In other words, they seem to have successfully called Ryan’s bluff. (We’ve requested comment from Ryan’s communications director at the Ways and Means Committee, Brendan Buck, but in the meantime we’ll have to wait to see what resolving issues “within our Conference in due time” means.)
So it remains to be seen what Ryan's next move is. Does he call out the FC for not meeting his demands or does he pretend he got what he wanted and runs for a job he doesn't want?
Either he's spineless or party leadership is putting a lot of pressure on him to run and save party face. Which is stupid as its post-poning the inevitable. If the pressure works on Ryan but not the Freedom Caucus, think of how things will work out soon enough.
“I’m a little surprised that somebody more conservative and tough, because they need some toughness, and smartness, and I’m a little surprised that somebody more conservative and tougher on the issues has not been chosen,” he said. “I’m a little surprised, actually.”
I wouldn't expect Speaker Boehner to try to and push through the "Grand Bargain" with President Obama that they came so close to achieving. The legislative clock just doesn't seem to have enough time. But I can see him pushing through some must pass legislation to keep the far-right faction from shooting the entire GOP in the foot.
House Republican leaders on Tuesday pushed toward a vote on a two-year budget deal despite conservative opposition, relying on the backing of Democrats for the far-reaching pact struck with President Barack Obama.
In his last days as speaker, John Boehner was intent on getting the measure through Congress and head off a market-rattling debt crisis next week and a debilitating government shutdown in December. The deal also would take budget showdowns off the table until after the 2016 presidential and congressional elections, a potential boon to the eventual GOP nominee and incumbents facing tough re-election fights.
"The agreement isn't perfect by any means, but the alternative was a clean debt limit increase" without any entitlement reform or money for troops, Boehner told reporters. "So this is a good deal."
The Ohio Republican later said his goal was to "clean out the barn" for the next speaker. "I've done my best to clean it up," he said.
Conservatives were resigned to the outcome.
"We can't stop it. He's in league with the Democrats," Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said of Boehner Tuesday morning. "I mean I don't think there's anything you can do at this point."
But Massie also said "it's a long game" and conservatives are winning the war as they have forced Boehner to resign.
The budget vote slated for Wednesday would come on the same day as the GOP caucus nominates its candidate, widely expected to be Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. The speaker-to-be held off on assessing the deal, saying he had to review it, but he expressed frustration with the rush job.
"I think this process stinks. This is not the way to do the people's business," Ryan told reporters. "Under new management, we're not going to do the people's business this way."
The two-year pact, which would take those volatile fiscal issues off the table until after the 2016 presidential election, would give both the Pentagon and domestic agencies $80 billion in relief from budget constraints in exchange for cuts elsewhere in the budget.
The White House said Tuesday it was "promising" that Democrats and Republicans came together to reach an agreement that would "break the cycle of short-sighted, crisis-driven decision-making." Capitol Hill Democrats are likely to solidly support the agreement, although it gives greater budget relief to the Pentagon than it does domestic programs.
"We successfully secured equal increases in funding defense and non-defense priorities," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. "We have extended the solvency of Social Security Disability Insurance and protected millions of seniors from a significant increase in their Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles next year. Most importantly, we have affirmed that the full faith and credit of the United States is non-negotiable and inviolable."
The legislation would suspend the current $18.1 trillion debt limit through March 2017. The budget portion would increase the current "caps" on total agency spending by $50 billion in 2016 and $30 billion in 2017, offset by savings elsewhere in the budget. And it would permit about $16 billion to be added on top of that in 2016, classified as war funding, with a comparable boost in 2017.
It also would clean up expected problems in Social Security and Medicare by fixing a shortfall looming next year in Social Security payments to the disabled, as well as a large increase in Medicare premiums and deductibles for doctors' visits and other outpatient care.
The emerging budget side of the deal resembles a pact that Ryan fashioned two years ago in concert with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to ease automatic spending cuts for the 2014-15 budget years. A lot of conservatives disliked the measure and many on the GOP's right flank are already swinging against the new one, which would apply to the 2016-17 budget years.
"I'm not excited about it at all," Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., said of the agreement. He called it "a two-year budget deal that raises the debt ceiling for basically the entire term of this presidency."
Boehner was pushed aside by conservatives in his own party after repeatedly turning to Democrats to pass must-do legislation in an era of divided government. Many Republicans also resented being kept in the dark. The pending deal fits both criteria.
Among the proposed spending cuts are curbs on Medicare payments for outpatient services provided by hospitals that have taken over doctors' practices, and an extension of a 2 percentage-point cut in Medicare payments to doctors through the end of a 10-year budget.
The budget side of the deal is aimed at undoing automatic spending cuts which are a byproduct of a 2011 budget and debt agreement, and the failure of Washington to subsequently tackle the government's fiscal woes. GOP defense hawks are a driving force, intent on reversing the automatic cuts and getting more money for the military. A key priority for Democrats is to boost domestic programs.
The focus is on setting a new overall spending limit for agencies whose operating budgets are set by Congress each year. It will be up to the House and Senate Appropriations committees to produce a detailed omnibus spending bill by the Dec. 11 deadline.