The day after House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he’d agree to be speaker under certain conditions, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) set the election for his successor.
The House Republican caucus will decide their nominee a week from today, then the full House will vote on the next speaker Oct. 29.
“I think Paul Ryan would make a great speaker. But this decision is up to the members. And I thought last night went very well. Hopefully, by the end of the week, we will have a nominee,” Boehner told reporters today.
Ryan said in a primetime press conference last night that he would agree to be speaker if he has the backing of the disparate House GOP groups by Friday — he meets with the House Freedom Caucus, which tried to oust Boehner, later this afternoon — and has enough free time to spend with his family. He also wants the ability to bring a motion to vacate the chair — what the Freedom Caucus wanted to use to force Boehner out — nixed.
Boehner said he doesn’t know what Plan B would be if Ryan doesn’t get those conditions met and decides not to run.
“I did announce to the members that the conference election for speaker will be next Wednesday. And that is the 28th. And on Thursday the 29th, the election will occur on the floor,” he said.
“I think Paul is going to get the support that he is looking for. What he laid out — a very clear vision of how he would run the speakership. I thought the members responded very well to it… We all know Paul Ryan. Right? He is a very good member. He works hard. He is very bright. And he has a good relationships, I think, with all the wings of the party. So, that’s why I think he will be doing fine.”
Asked for his reaction if the Freedom Caucus opposes Ryan, Boehner said, “This is not about us. Not about us as leaders. Not about us as members.”
“Our job is to do the right thing for the American people every day. And you have heard me say this multiple times. And I will say it one more time. If you do the right things every day for the right reasons, the right things will happen for our country.”
The chairman of the Freedom Caucus, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), told Fox last night that Ryan is “a good messenger for our party” and “understands policy.”
“But, as we’ve said many times, we think the what is more important than the who. Now, it’s great if you can have someone that can articulate that message and talk about the conservative policies that we think are good for our party but more importantly good for our country,” Jordan said.
“But we need some process change right now. No institution functions the way the House does. In the 21st century, this idea that there’s a few people at top who control things through the steering committee, that doesn’t work anywhere else,” he said, saying they must “create an environment much more conducive to accomplishing what we told the voters we were going to do, to fight for those policies that we think help all of America.”