Speaker Ryan to GOP Colleagues: 'We Must Deliver'

Calvin SaundersNov 16, 2016

House Speaker Paul Ryan is a fiscal hawk who wants to couple tax cuts with deep spending cuts.

Ryan had clashed with Trump in the course of the campaign, including initially withholding his endorsement, which angered some conservative House members and appeared to irritate Trump. But Tuesday afternoon's vote held little drama as Ryan ran unopposed and House GOP members re-elected the Wisconsin Republican in a unanimous vote.

President-elect Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell make up an unlikely alliance, one defined in advance mostly by Trump's opposition to the Washington establishment that Ryan and McConnell exemplify. Ryan and House Republicans have spent the past six years enforcing strict budget caps aimed at holding down the federal debt. Several establishment Republicans, particularly those in vulnerable congressional races, distanced themselves from the Trump campaign, condemning the business-mogul's divisive rhetoric. The Washington Post reports that he also made a direct plea to his supporters to stop the hate crimes and racist harassment of minorities that has occurred since the election. "I would tell people to just relax, things are going to be fine". They have melded on certain issues, such as the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and they have publicly tried to move past their disagreements from the campaign - including Ryan's decision not to immediately endorse Trump when he won the nomination, and saying he would no longer defend Trump after the controversial "Access Hollywood" recording of the nominee was leaked.

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The new 115th Congress will include the first Latina senator and a record number of minority women, but Congress will remain overwhelmingly white, male and middle-aged. "We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none", he said. He said "the rub comes" January 3, when Ryan will need 218 votes - a majority of the full House - to be speaker and avoid a damaging setback to a career path that many think includes a presidential run. "We are not Republicans first", Obama said. On both sides of the border they are talking about Donald Trump and they have strong opinions they aren't afraid to voice--much like the president-elect. But he said he was not optimistic that Trump would protect civil liberties.

"Hiring Reince Priebus as his chief of staff is a ideal indication of our new president's desire to get things done", Ryan said during a Wisconsin radio interview Monday.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield was also expected to win another term as majority leader. She has led House Democrats for more than 12 years and has consolidated support with strong fundraising and an ability to deliver votes, but there's always been grumbling from Democrats who say new leadership is needed at the top.

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Ryan, meanwhile, told the press Tuesday that Republicans will have to "go big" to put the United States "back on the right track".

In a letter to administration officials, House GOP leaders warned them not to approve rules curbing oil and gas pollution during the waning days of Barack Obama's presidency and said Congress would overturn them if they did.

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