Ryan took over the Speakership in 2015 after John Boehner (R-Ohio) retired due to hostilities with the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative coalition that opposed significant portions of Boehner's agenda.
The California congressman described by one House Republican aide as "your favorite fraternity brother"-apparently a compliment- was the leading candidate to replace outgoing speaker John Boehner in 2015 before he abruptly withdrew his name from the race, ostensibly because he wanted a "new face" to unite the party and possibly in response to salacious rumors about his personal life, never since proven or disproven, that were meant to torpedo his candidacy". "I don't see a value in that".
"Speaker Paul Ryan's decision not to face Wisconsin voters this year is yet another major warning sign for Governor Scott Walker's campaign". But it just didn't seem to make sense to me.
"First they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist". Add in almost $300 billion in additional spending over the next two years passed by Congress in March, and you're looking at trillion-dollar annual deficits as far as the eye can see. "That is now done". Just because he'll be leaving office, Ryan said, doesn't mean he will stop working toward that goal.
The House has passed countless bills, including regular order in the budgeting process, that all have gone to die on the desk of leader McConell.
"One person's not going to solve all of those things", he said. "It's a very partisan environment and I think that problem has been exacerbated under President Trump". "I'm gonna keep being involved and focusing on inclusive aspirational politics", he said.
Ryan said moving his entire family to D.C. was never really an option for them. "Because of mandatory spending we call entitlements".
Although Ryan gave warm speeches about compassion, his biggest fear was not that the poor might go without food or health care but, as he once said, that the "safety net" might "become a hammock that lulls able-bodied citizens into lives of complacency and dependency". "Because it's got to happen". Ryan will continue to act as House speaker through the beginning of next year. Conservatives should avoid that temptation, he said.
Over his two and a half year tenure, Ryan has vacillated between a leader with grandiose, seemingly concrete personal and political beliefs, and a politician lacking a backbone, the conviction to successfully craft and defend policy and the stomach to stand up to a president who has been anything but easy to work alongside. But he disputed the notion advanced by some that he should step down as speaker immediately in order to remove uncertainty about his successor during the midterm elections. These procedural shortcuts led to understandable concerns among the public about the rush to pass a bill, not to mention justifiable arguments of hypocrisy over how Republican critics of Obamacare's lack of transparency used an even more secretive process. "We're going to have a great record to run on". Speaker Ryan has offered his support for McCarthy as well. He asked Ryan what has changed since then.