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Ryan Meets with House Freedom Caucus

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

After House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-California) Speaker of the House ambitions collapsed, US Representative Paul Ryan’s spokespersons said that the Republican Congressman from Wisconsin had no interest in the job.

That position apparently changed when the House came back from recess.  Rep. Ryan has now said that he would take the job; but only if he had the support of all the different caucuses that make up the Republican majority in the US House of Representatives and only if it was understood that the job would not cut into his family time.  As part of that effort, Ryan has been meeting with all of the different Caucuses this week, including the forty member House Freedom Caucus whose growing power eventually effectively toppled Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).

US Representative and Freedom Caucus member Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) told the Washington Post that Ryan agreed that legislation should be moved only with the support of the majority of the majority. In particular, he said, that calmed immigration hawks wary of Ryan’s past support for measures that would offer illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

However Ryan still faces a big challenge in getting the group’s support, Brooks said: “Paul Ryan probably made some progress .?.?. but to get 80 percent of Freedom Caucus to switch from Daniel Webster?” he said. “It’s going to be difficult for Paul Ryan to shift that in two, three days.”

The Freedom Caucus has previously endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Florida) who is a former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.  According to Freedom Caucus rules it takes 80 percent of them for the Caucus to give an endorsement.

A supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus did vote to back Paul Ryan’s speaker bid for Speaker; but whether that translates into them endorsing Ryan is open to interpretation.

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Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said on Twitter, “I believe @RepPaulRyan would make a great Speaker of the House. A conservative thought leader who can unite Republicans.”

The Freedom Caucus met with Ryan for an hour in the Capitol on Wednesday. Many of the group’s members have objected to rules changes that Ryan has made as conditions for him agreeing to becoming the Speaker.

Rep. Paul Ryan said on Oct. 20, that he will run for House speaker, but “this is not a job I ever sought.”  “I came to the conclusion that this is a very dire moment, not just for Congress, not just for the Republican Party, but for our country.” Rep. Paul Ryan ran for Vice President in 2012 on the GOP ticket with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Congressman Mo Brooks represents Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.

Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.


(Original reporting by the ‘Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis, Robert Costa, Karoun Demirjian, Kelsey Snell and David Weigel contributed to this report.) 

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Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.



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