News & Politics

Republicans Are Making Paul Ryan's Final Months in Office a Living Nightmare

“The conference is in open warfare. Paul has run out of juice,” an unnamed lawmaker said.

Paul Ryan
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Well, no one could have seen this coming—fractious House Republicans are circling a lame-duck speaker who announced his impending exit seven months in advance of midterms that could upend the GOP’s hold on Congress. Politico writes:

Rank-and-file Republicans, including moderates who’ve been unflinchingly loyal to Ryan during his three-year tenure, have become increasingly willing to defy the lame-duck leader. And White House officials have also discussed whether Ryan should remain in the job, administration sources said, though there is no effort by the Trump White House to push out Ryan.

The doubts have been fueled by a series of high-profile embarrassments for the Wisconsin Republican. The most recent was the collapse of the Republican farm bill Friday on the House floor. But centrist Republicans have also backed Ryan into a corner on immigration, the most contentious issue facing the party. And this week, those moderates are expected to reach the 218-vote threshold needed to force bipartisan votes to protect Dreamers — despite Ryan’s effort to stop them.

“The conference is in open warfare. Paul has run out of juice,” said a senior Republican lawmaker who wants a speaker vote to happen soon and requested anonymity to speak frankly. “It became clear on Friday that it’s time to let go.”

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. As conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin pointed out, Ryan's now useless serving as anything other than a "presidential poodle" at this point. He not only can't count votes well enough to pass the legislation he puts on the floor, he's also providing cover to the GOP conspiratorialists currently driving a dagger through the heart of post-Watergate congressional oversight reforms. 

He is no longer doing the people’s business — either to pass necessary, bipartisan legislation or to defend the people’s security. Perhaps he should retire now. Any temporary replacement could hardly do a worse job for the remaining months of the GOP majority.

That last line is the only part of Rubin's assessment that’s dubious. Republicans continually overperform at finding worse ways to govern than they were doing it before.

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