Paul Ryan is planning to step down from Congress in January but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to give up his title as Speaker of the House. Ryan has announced that he plans to maintain his position until his retirement, an announcement that might be short-lived.
Considered a lame-duck speaker by many, Ryan has led a GOP caucus in chaos, one that has been unable to reign in its own members to pass the agenda set forth by President Trump and his administration.
Now, it appears as pressure may be mounting to fire Ryan before he leaves Congress.
“Top Republicans in Congress and the White House have in recent days entertained a plan to push House Speaker Paul Ryan out of his post over the summer, in an effort to clear the way for his presumed successor, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, to assume the speakership,” the conservative Weekly Standard reports.
If Ryan is removed from the position he will remain in Congress until January 2019 but will secede most of his power to the new speaker. A quick comparison between former speaker Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan shows the divide that has occurred. While Ryan has managed to pass few initiatives for Trump, Pelosi works with Obama on health care, the U.S. economic Recovery Act, and many other important initiatives.
Ryan failed last week to pass the GOP-sponsored Farm Bill, a move that was seen as a punch to the gut for the speaker. After the bill failed a GOP source told The Hill, “It’s difficult to close deals when you are a Speaker who’s announced you are leaving in a few months.”
Politico also spoke to a senior Republican source who has this to say: “This is the problem when you have a lame duck speaker who announces he’s leaving eight months in advance. He can make calls to members to urge them to vote for something, but who will care?”
Ryan has come to odds with his own GOP lawmakers in recent months, most recently refusing to bring a House vote to protect young immigrants in America, a vote that his own party’s moderates want to see on the House floor.
The speaker has allegedly maintained that he should keep the position throughout 2018 because of his fundraising skills. Experts have pointed out that a lame duck speaker who is retiring ahead of potentially losing control of the House in November is not as likely to raise huge sums of cash.
Ryan once considered a conservative reformer, is now seen as a poster child for what can occur when principles are thrown out the door and the speaker instead cozies up too close to the President of the United States.