Paul Ryan seems to have gone from the untouchable golden boy to a House Speaker who is having to put out fires on a near daily basis. To some degree, Paul Ryan probably should have seen this coming, considering that was the job description John Boehner walked away from earlier than anyone expected.
These days, Ryan is having to tell the media he still doesn’t agree with Donald Trump’s plan to ban immigrants of very specific ethnic groups while also dealing with an uprising from House Democrats in the wake of the recent Orlando shootings.
Ryan’s problem with the Democrats popped up during the minutes immediately following a moment of silence meant to honor those who were massacred. Ryan noticed once the moment of silence was over, House members began yelling that Congress should take up legislation to address gun control. The shouting interrupted Ryan, who was attempting to move on to the business of the day. CBS News reports some shouted “Where’s the bill?” in reference to the gun control bills that have not ended up on the House schedule.
After the shouting, Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn attempted to get the attention of Ryan so he could be recognized to speak.
Apparently thinking Ryan had indeed recognized, he began his speech, saying, “I am concerned that we have just today had a moment of silence and later this week the 17th.”
He was then interrupted by Ryan, who asked whether Clyburn was posing a parliamentary inquiry.
Clyburn said he was, adding that he wanted to get answers on three specific pieces of legislation. Instead of answering Clyburn or addressing the inquiry, Speaker Ryan ignored the congressman and said the House had to continue voting. After the incident, Ryan said Clyburn’s inquiry was out of order. Once the office realized the exchange was making political hay, a spokesperson issued a statement on the issue.
“It’s shameful that anyone would try to use a moment of silence honoring victims of a brutal terrorist attack to advance their own political agenda,” said AshLee Strong of House Speaker Ryan’s office.
Since that statement was released by Ryan and his staff, more than a few Democrats have said Ryan’s office is advancing a political agenda, claiming their political opponents are accusing the Democrats of actions they simply did not do. It doesn’t appear as if this issue is going to be getting off Paul Ryan’s desk. Another issue that doesn’t appear to be going away is Donald Trump’s continued approach to immigration in the face of terrorist attacks.
Shortly after the Orlando shootings, Trump doubled down on his claims that the best way to avoid this happening is to start banning immigration from certain groups and certain places. Ryan told Breitbart for the second time in a matter of months that he does not believe this approach is one that is going to have a positive effect. Ryan went further, saying he does not believe a temporary Muslim ban is “in our country’s best interest.”
Ryan told the website that he stood by his comments from December of 2015 when he was asked about the comments for the first time. Once again, Speaker Ryan added he does not believe that kind of ban is “reflective of our principles.” Ryan also said he understands the fight is not with all Muslims. Ryan said the fight was against radical Islam and religious extremists. It’s a safe bet Paul Ryan is going to have to make those comments quite a bit over the next few weeks.
[Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images]