Amid deep-seated fighting among the factions within the House Republican majority, a new report has emerged that some conservative Republicans may try to push House Speaker Paul Ryan out of his leadership role before the end of the year, when Ryan is scheduled to retire.
The effort to oust Ryan has been laid before President Donald Trump, according to a report in the Washington Examiner, which referenced a report by The Weekly Standard that said, “Trump believes there is merit to the plan, but has not formed a final position.” Neither report disclosed the source of its information.
Ryan has said he will not step down as speaker.
“I’ve talked to a lot of members who think it is in our best interest for me to stay here and run through the tape,” Ryan said last month.
Others have said the party needs Ryan to step aside.
“We would have more success if there’s no ambiguity as to what the leadership structure might look like,” Georgia Congressman Tom Graves said last month, Politico reported. “Certainty is important. … From the conversations I’ve had, everybody wants our ‘A team’ in place, our strongest team in place, so we have the strongest outcome going into the election cycle.”
The report about a potential coup comes days after yet another collision between the centrist and conservative wings of the party.
On Friday, as reported by CNBC, a proposed farm bill went down to defeat after conservatives failed to get the assurances they sought that the House would pass tough immigration reforms.
Ryan has signaled in the past he would support allowing the children of illegal immigrants to be protected from deportation. However, the Wisconsin Republican is opposed in this by California Republican Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader. Ryan’s position reflects the generally held position of moderates, while McCarthy’s is more in line with conservatives.
What is actually possible? It depends upon who you ask.
“Ryan has wanted to find a solution to this going back five or six years; clearly there is an opportunity to do it now,” said Florida Republican Carlos Curbelo, a moderate, Politico reported.
And some say no matter what the deal, the children of illegal immigrants, currently allowed to remain under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, will not get a path to citizenship.
“Wall for DACA? That’s a nonstarter,” said House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina. “It will never happen.”
Ryan’s own decision to leave Congress has altered the dynamics of his power in the House, one congressman said.
“That’s one of the challenges of Ryan announcing that he was not going to seek re-election: Now everybody is kind of looking to (McCarthy),” said Republican Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho.
“Our conference is so ungovernable that it is almost impossible for a speaker to be successful,” Simpson added, saying that even though McCarthy is not yet Ryan’s successor, “he’s still getting the pressure of almost being speaker.”
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