When Speaker Boehner announced that he was resigning his Speaker’s position, most people assumed that Kevin McCarthy would become the next Speaker. They thought that until McCarthy made the most foolish statement in the history of the House GOP Caucus. That assumption ended when McCarthy dropped the bombshell that he was withdrawing his name for consideration to become the next Speaker.
The mystery and intrigue is essentially over after weeks of upheaval. Paul Ryan, currently the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, will be elected Speaker by the weekend.While some conservative bomb-throwers aren’t happy, the House Freedom Caucus gave him overwhelming support.
After meeting with the House Freedom Caucus, Chairman Ryan issued a statement, saying “I’m grateful for the support of a supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus. I look forward to hearing from the other two caucuses by the end of the week, but I believe this is a positive step toward a unified team.”
Though Ryan isn’t the perfect candidate for Speaker, he’s the best candidate to change the direction of the House Republican conference. Ryan’s economic policies are solidly conservative, with his only blemish being on immigration reform.
Ryan’s greatest strength, one that he intends on using frequently, is laying out the conservatives’ agenda. It’s expected that a Ryan speakership will produce an alternative to the Affordable Care Act and tax simplification. Most likely, the ACA alternative will be Tom Price’s bill.
Ryan is considered a great spokesman for conservative issues because he’s good at talking in what might best be called ‘Main Street Speak’. He’s a skilled debater of issues, too. He was one of the stars of the Health Care Summit in February, 2010. His explanation of all the things that were wrong with the ACA was so thorough that President Obama didn’t attempt to argue with Ryan.
While some grumbling will continue following the vote of the full House, Republicans will be able to go on offense for most of the rest of the year.