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February 7, 2016

Posts by Matt Fuller

631 Posts

October 23, 2015

How the House Freedom Caucus Got Behind Paul Ryan

house freedom caucus

Jordan, right, asks a question at the Benghazi Committee hearing Thursday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

When the House Freedom Caucus emerged from a closed-door meeting Wednesday night, the surprise wasn’t that they hadn’t formally endorsed Paul D. Ryan to be speaker. It was how close they had come.

Roughly 70 percent of the Freedom Caucus — 27 out of 39 members — voted to support Ryan. That tally fell short of the group’s standard of a four-fifths majority, or 80 percent, to take an official position. But it was good enough for Ryan to feel as though he had the support to move forward.

Full story

Boehner Names Planned Parenthood Committee Republicans

planned parenthood

Blackburn fends off reporters as she leaves a House GOP caucus meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner announced Friday that Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., will chair the investigative panel created following a string of hidden camera videos showing Planned Parenthood employees talking about the sale of fetal tissue.

“Recent videos exposing the abortion-for-baby parts business have shocked the nation, and demanded action,” Boehner said Friday in a statement. “At my request, three House committees have been investigating the abortion business, but we still don’t have the full truth.” Full story

October 22, 2015

Ryan to Colleagues: I’m In

Al Drago/CQ Roll call)

Ryan will run for speaker. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Paul D. Ryan is officially in.

After receiving sufficient support from three major factions of the House GOP, the Wisconsin Republican announced Thursday he will run for speaker. Full story

October 21, 2015

Paul Ryan Clears Biggest Hurdle to Speaker Bid

What is Ryan's magic number? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With the HFC’s support, Ryan is ready to move forward. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:20 p.m. | Paul D. Ryan fell a few votes short of a formal endorsement from the House Freedom Caucus Wednesday evening, but decided he had earned enough support from the Republican Conference’s right flank to move forward with a bid for speaker.

“I’m grateful for the support of a supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus,” he said in a statement following the HFC vote. “I look forward to hearing from the other two caucuses by the end of the week, but I believe this is a positive step toward a unified Republican team.” Full story

Freedom Caucus Resists Ryan

house freedom caucus

Huelskamp talks with reporters Wednesday after a meeting of the House Republican Conference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:34 p.m. | Paul D. Ryan had a choice. Now he’s given his colleagues one.

The Wisconsin Republican put the question of his speaker candidacy to his fellow lawmakers Tuesday, asking for the endorsement of three major House GOP caucuses by Friday. Now those groups are trying to figure out what it would take to get behind him. Full story

Boehner Sets Speaker Elections

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan makes his way through a hallway following his speech Tuesday to the House Republican Conference. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In a vote of confidence in Paul D. Ryan and a show of eagerness to resign as planned on Oct. 31, Speaker John A. Boehner has scheduled a conference meeting for next Wednesday, Oct. 28, for House Republicans to nominate his successor.

A vote on the House floor among all members will still take place on Thursday, Oct. 29, as previously announced. Full story

October 20, 2015

House Freedom Caucus Skeptical of Ryan’s Terms

Al Drago/CQ Roll call)

The HFC is skeptical of Paul’s demands. (Al Drago/CQ Roll call)

Paul D. Ryan’s conditional announcement for speaker was immediately met with overwhelming support Tuesday evening, with the notable exception of one key constituency: The House Freedom Caucus.

Among Ryan’s conditions to run were two critical sticking points: that the HFC endorse him by Friday, and that the conference agrees to some changes on the motion to vacate the chair. Full story

Paul Ryan Sets Conditions for Speaker Bid (Video)


Ryan addresses reporters Tuesday evening on his impending run for speaker. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan addresses reporters Tuesday evening on his impending run for speaker. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:03 p.m. | Paul D. Ryan needs convincing the GOP conference has his back — and he’s given lawmakers a Friday deadline to persuade him to take the speaker’s job.

The Wisconsin Republican told colleagues he will run for speaker if he can win broad support from the Freedom Caucus, the Republican Study Committee and the centrist Tuesday Group. Full story

Ryan Spokesman: No ‘Final Decision’ Tonight

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:25 p.m. | With a special GOP conference meeting scheduled for Tuesday night, members may finally learn what Paul D. Ryan is thinking. Sort of.

“I don’t anticipate a final decision tonight,” Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck told CQ Roll Call Tuesday. Full story

October 19, 2015

Answers to Come in a Week of GOP Leadership Questions

house speaker

Ryan may finally answer the question: Will he run for speaker? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans return to the Capitol Tuesday with a set of questions and challenges. The most glaring among them remains: Who will lead them?

Speaker John A. Boehner has made it clear he will stay, if needed, beyond his scheduled resignation date at the end of the month. Whether that is necessary should become clear this week. Full story

As GOP Mulls Its Future, All Eyes Fixed on Paul Ryan

UNITED STATES - October 1: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wi., runs through the rain to his car after final votes in the House of Representatives outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan faces one of the most pivotal weeks of his career. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul D. Ryan has a decision to make, and until the Wisconsin Republican makes up his mind, many of the other pressing questions that face House Republicans are on hold.

Ryan and his House GOP colleagues return to the Capitol Tuesday. But with first votes held off until 6:30 p.m., as is customary on the fly-in day, Ryan probably has until Wednesday morning, during the weekly House Republican Conference meeting, to make an announcement on whether he’s willing to run for speaker — and even then, Ryan’s decision could be in flux. Full story

October 15, 2015

Amid GOP Criticism, Gowdy Defends Benghazi Investigation

UNITED STATES - October 1: Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., walks through the rain to his car after final votes in the House of Representatives outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Gowdy again defended the Benghazi Committee. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy is on the offensive after a series of inartful comments from Republicans has produced a rocky lead-up to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony before his special select committee next week.

After adopting a “tune it out” media strategy in response to recent questions on the true intent of the Benghazi investigation, Gowdy pivoted Thursday to directly respond to offhand accusations from Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., that Republicans are out to get Clinton. Full story

October 13, 2015

Ryan’s Choice and the House Freedom Caucus Fallout

UNITED STATES - JUNE 04: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., conducts a pen and pad briefing with reporters in the Capitol, June 4, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan conducts a pen and pad briefing earlier this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul D. Ryan has a choice.

If he wants the speakership, Ryan has a better shot than anyone else. But if past is truly prologue and the Wisconsin Republican really doesn’t want the gavel, Ryan has a chance to pass on the position and still accomplish something: Weaken the rabble-rousing House Freedom Caucus. Full story

October 9, 2015

Speaker Election Delay Stirs Conservative Anger

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: From left, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., Rep. Pete Roskam, R-Ill., and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., leave the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Massie, left, and Amash, right, flank Pete Roskam after a House Republican Conference meeting. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision to drop out of the speaker race Thursday gave Republicans a lot to think about. But some Republicans say their leaders imposed a top-down decision on the process that fundamentally altered the outcome.

Two Republicans, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Tom Rice of South Carolina, spoke out during a special GOP conference meeting Friday to express concern that the rules of the House were not followed when Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, postponed the speaker election. Full story

October 8, 2015

Does ‘No’ Still Mean ‘No’ for Paul Ryan?

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 07: Rep. Tim Ryan, R-Wisc., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, October 7, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After Kevin McCarthy’s Thursday announcement he won’t seek the speakership, Republicans are asking themselves who will. And the name everyone keeps coming back to is the one person who issued the first statement saying he wouldn’t go for the job: Paul D. Ryan.

Ryan has mastered the art of turning down the speaker’s gavel, so much so that the former vice presidential nominee and current Ways and Means chairman had a statement out within 20 minutes of the majority leader’s unexpected announcement. Full story

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