After caucus vote, Paul Ryan is pushing ahead with speaker bid – CNN
Over 70% of the House Freedom Caucus voted to support Ryan
In a closed-door session, more than 70% of the House Freedom Caucus voted in favor of Ryan’s candidacy. But that is short of the 80% needed for an official endorsement, something Ryan has demanded.
It appears to be close enough for Ryan, and now he is just waiting for two other key House GOP caucuses to make their support known before he officially jumps in.
“I’m grateful for the support of a supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus,” Ryan said in a statement he tweeted out Wednesday night. “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 Republican team.”
Ryan has said all along he wants to be the “unity” candidate for House speaker. He met Wednesday with the Freedom Caucus — the group of roughly 40 conservatives who were instrumental in driving out Speaker John Boehner and throwing the leadership race into disarray.
Ryan told them in private what he’s been telling everyone in public: he wasn’t going to beg for their vote. Ryan wants to be the consensus pick to be speaker, and if the Freedom Caucus wants to get in his way, he’ll let them.
“If I can be a unifying figure in our conference, I’m willing to step up and do that, it’s just that simple,” Ryan told reporters upon leaving the Capitol. “If not then it’s OK, I’ll go back to Ways and Means.”
Freedom Caucus members said it’s all up to Ryan.
“Paul appears to have sufficient support to become the next speaker of the House,” said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan.
“Even if there is a minority of House Freedom Caucus members who don’t support his bid, he’ll have to make the decision on how he proceeds,” Amash said.
Ryan’s spokesman reiterated Wednesday afternoon that he would need an endorsement from the three major caucuses in the conference, including the Freedom Caucus, to run. But that was before the Freedom Caucus made its announcement.
Behind the scenes, Ryan has been seeking to win over individual members of the Freedom Caucus — and making inroads with other conservative factions — in what his allies privately describe as an effort to keep the discord over his speakership to a small number of agitators, effectively isolating that faction and weakening …Read More
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