Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House? That’s what could happen if Ryan wants the job. A new House speaker is needed after John Boehner decided he was going to leave Congress. A report from the New York Times states that Boehner will be resigning from his post as the Speaker of the House at the end of October. There will soon be an election to decide who takes his post as the Speaker, but a new report from USA Today states that Paul Ryan has an inside track to taking the position.
The House of Representatives selects someone who serves as the presiding officer and administrative head of the House. They are typically a representative elected from the majority party in the house. When it comes to time to elect a new Speaker of the House, each major party conference or caucus nominates a candidate for the position. A roll call vote then follows, with the party holing power (a majority) within the House typically putting a Speaker of its choice in the position.
CBS News had reported that House GOP leaders were “begging” Paul Ryan to run for the Speaker of the House position. This followed Kevin McCarthy withdrawing from the race after a lot of speculation that he was about to take over for John Boehner. With several other representatives also stating that they had no interest in the post, it created a power vacuum that the Republican Party is working hard to address. It’s not as easy as simply putting Ryan into the role, though, as he has been hesitant to state a willingness to be the Speaker.
Currently, Daniel Webster appears to be the frontrunner to become the new Speaker, which will likely take place if the current candidates remain the same. Webster is a representative from Florida that expressed a desire to take the post, and who has started to receive a lot of support from key Republican representatives. That could shift if there is success in convincing Ryan that he should enter the Race.
Jim Jordan of Ohio, Tom Cole of Oklahoma, and Mark Mulvaney of South Carolina have been very vocal in their support of Ryan. Each of the three men has been publicly interviewed about the situation and verbally endorsed their fellow Republican. Mulvaney even stated that, “The country needs you. The Party needs you.” Even Donald Trump spoke about Ryan, alluding to how he might want the position but just hasn’t admitted to it yet.
“I think he doesn’t want it very badly, but you never know. Maybe he’s playing one of the great games of all time. It is Speaker of the House — I mean, it’s a great position — but he doesn’t seem to want it. But I’ll bet you that if it was actually offered to him, he would take it.”
The challenge of becoming the Speaker right now could be a factor in what Ryan ultimately decides. The House has struggled to make headway on several issues lately, bringing with it a lot of bad press that the next Speaker will have to deal with. Ryan could also simply want to stay focused on his committee obligations with Ways and Means or to spend more time with his family. He has three school-age children that would see him less if he took on more responsibilities.
If a new Speaker of the House is not elected soon, John Boehner has stated that he is willing to remain in the position until it is addressed. With a looming deadline of November 5 to raise the debt ceiling and a requirement to find government funding by December, the next Speaker has a lot of work to do in the short-term. Is it something that Paul Ryan will undertake? If he wants the job, it appears the Republican Party would put him in the position.
[Image Sources: Chip Somodevilla, Mark Wilson, and Isaac Brekken / Getty Images]