Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Paul Ryan, a Speaker with a Future Beyond Donald Trump
Bloomberg has published an article about House Speaker Paul Ryan, saying he's winning praise for his open, committee-based style, but that as more Republicans back Trump, pressure on him increases : "Eighteen days after declining to endorse Donald Trump, Paul Ryan is starting to look a little lonely....A long standoff over Trump risks trying Republicans’ patience, particularly if Ryan, slated to chair the party’s July nominating convention in Cleveland, doesn’t end up endorsing the billionaire." Representative Chris Collins, one of Trump’s earliest House supporters, told Bloomberg : "Mr. Trump is going to win. It would be better, sooner, to have Mr. Ryan on board. I also think that as the Speaker sees this enthusiasm from his members...his key committee chairs, and subcommittee chairs, coming on board -- that Mr. Ryan wants to get to yes." ~~~~~ This weekend, Ryan gave an interview to Politico, in which he describes being Speaker : "...you have to fight for what you believe in...work hard at getting something done...then the next day, do it all over again, and a lot of times with the same people....it's the ability to get over things, the ability to start from scratch again, and when you have conflicts with people, don't take them personally so that you can get back on a good footing to get something done the next week with the same person....that sense of professionalism and respect is important, and watching how [Speaker Boehner] did that is important. You always find yourself in a difficult situation in divided government. The question is, can you advance your principles...what I worried about was over-promising and under-delivering. That happened too much, and I think that's one of the reasons our party is having the problems it has." Ryan's open approach, empowering House committees, has won him goodwill. Tim Huelskamp, a leading member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, who openly opposed Boehner but under Ryan is a member of the powerful Steering Committee, compared Ryan to Boehner for Bloomberg : "I think it’s a significant improvement." Representative Tom Cole said : "It’s just a more open, accessible, easier style....if people disagree, they seem to disagree agreeably. I hear very few complaints about Paul Ryan’s style or him as a person." Cole noted that Ryan didn’t campaign for Speaker, so he doesn’t have to deliver on campaign promises : "The fact is, the job sought him, he didn’t seek the job. I mean, people know he could walk away..." ~~~~~ Ryan has his first big win in his six months as Speaker with the bipartisan Puerto Rico deal. Ryan's earlier wins on highway, education and government funding were negotiated by Boehner. But, the Puerto Rico agreement belongs to Ryan. It will restructure the island’s $70 billion debt, fulfilling a promise Speaker Ryan made to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democrats last December. It shows that Ryan’s approach to the Speakership works. Ryan let Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop lead talks with both Democrats and Republicans on his panel. But when negotiations bogged down, for example about the creation of an independent fiscal control board, Ryan stepped in as 'the closer.' Ryan spoke with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, as well as working with Pelosi. Democrats say Ryan is much more involved in day-to-day negotiations than he suggests. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle appreciate his communication, which they say is a significant improvement from Boehner. Bishop will mark up the Puerto Rico bill in his committee on Wednesday, before the Memorial Day recess. GOP leadership sources say a floor vote isn’t expected until after the break, but before July 1, when Puerto Rico would default on another $2 billion in payments. ~~~~~ Dear readers, while Ryan says he won't bet on a Trump win, he must know the Greek proverb : "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." Ryan's title is Speaker, but he is king in the GOP Trump-kingdom. At 46, he knows he can support Trump, but build his own future.