Ryan pulls plug on House GOP bid to restore earmarks

Calvin SaundersNov 17, 2016

In a further demonstration of unity, the three members who formally nominated Ryan before the afternoon leadership vote included a leading member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Representative Mick Mulvaney of SC, and Representative Chris Collins of NY, a strong Trump supporter who will serve as the House GOP's liaison to the incoming administration.

Several weeks ago, when mainstream opinion in Washington was that Donald Trump would lose the election badly and take a lot of congressional Republicans down with him, Speaker Paul Ryan's future as the top Republican in the House of Representatives was looking more precarious.

Another Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said Trump's victory helped Ryan "more out of the necessity of having to hit the ground running on issues that are important, that were campaigned on, than anything else".

Instead, it's House Democrats who are facing key splits, capped by a decision Tuesday morning to delay their leadership elections until after Thanksgiving, a move that could put House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's job in jeopardy.

"And that's how many Senate Democrats we're gonna need to pass any major initiative", moderate GOP Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., said Tuesday. The Politico Caucus, a panel of Republican insiders and strategists, hopes that Ryan will be the driving force of policy going forward.

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Where conservatives started to sour on Ryan was when they didn't believe he was standing up strongly enough to Obama once he was elevated to the position of Speaker, and of course when he was tepid in his support of Trump.

Ryan ran unopposed and was renominated by unanimous vote on Tuesday.

In any case, the House speaker promised to "fix" the problems he said are facing the American people, ranging from the economic deficit to defense. "Once again they overplayed their hand, so we're trying to balance that out".

But it's Paul Ryan's nomination by such a decisive margin that draws the most attention.

Ryan also avoided a direct answer on Trump's appointment of Stephen Bannon to a senior White House role. Ryan even refused at one point to campaign for or defend the NY billionaire, upsetting some Republican colleagues.

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Cramer has always supported Ryan and Trump.

"So far, I'm not hearing anything about changing the way we do business here in Washington, so I'm not ready to support him yet", Labrador said.

But after Trump pulled off a surprising victory, Ryan has said he is behind the president-elect.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday halted an effort to bring back earmarks. To stay on as speaker, he must limit defections by Republicans to win 218 votes on the House floor in January.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California was also expected to win another term as majority leader. Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is retiring after a 30-year Senate career and seems certain to be replaced by Sen.

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