The chairman of the House Freedom Caucus said House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said “what our guys wanted to hear,” and “that’s why a supermajority of our group has endorsed Congressman Ryan” for speaker of the House.
The full vote on the House floor is expected Thursday.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Sean Hannity last night that the conservative caucus overrode one of Ryan’s demands, which was to make it harder for the Freedom Caucus to use the same ouster maneuver they were preparing to use on retiring House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
“First of all, the first thing we were given is we’re not going to change the motion to vacate. That’s a right that’s been around since Jefferson and we’re not going to change that fundamental liberty that members of Congress have,” Jordan said.
“Second, Paul is the kind of guy who is an excellent messenger, who can talk about the big bold things we need to do that are going to help our constituents, help families, help the country get back on the right path. Talking about reform in the tax code, showing our replacement for Obamacare. Everyone knows Obamacare is terrible, our replacement, and talking about how to reform our social safety net system, our welfare system. So he talked about that,” he said of the private meeting Ryan held with the caucus at which he was assured of the majority support.
“He also assured us there’s no way he’s going to bring up an immigration bill. Maybe a border security bill, that we actually do the right thing.”
Jordan said any bill that includes a path to citizenship was “certainly one of the questions that was asked” by members in the meeting, which the entire Freedom Caucus attended, “and Paul assured that that was not going to be brought up.”
“You’re seeing the worst kind of leadership right now where we get this bill thrown together at the last minute, a bill that I plan to oppose, a bill that our group is going to be against, you see it thrown together with all kinds of spending, all kinds of stuff, no real committee hearings, no real bringing people together and figuring out what’s the best course of action how to move forward,” Jordan said of the current budget deal; Ryan said the process “stinks.”
“He says we’re not going to do that. We’re not going to govern in a crisis-to-crisis type way. We’re going to go early, come up with our position, send it to the Senate, and then most importantly… stand firm.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who jumped into the speaker’s race when Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was the leading candidate but jumped out after Ryan agreed to run, said he thinks Ryan “is the right agent of change.”
“He has broad support. He is articulate on these issues. He probably knows more about budgeting and the appropriations process than anybody in this body,” Chaffetz said. “And I think it’s time to give him a chance. I think he’ll be a very good speaker.”