The Freedom Caucus Is Not Ready for Paul Ryan Just Yet

Andrew Harnik/AP

Rep. Paul Ry­an still has a lot of con­vin­cing to do to win the sup­port of the Free­dom Caucus.

House Speak­er John Boehner, however, thinks Ry­an is up to the task.

“I think Paul is go­ing to get the sup­port he is look­ing for,” Boehner told re­port­ers dur­ing a Wed­nes­day morn­ing press con­fer­ence.

Ry­an told mem­bers Tues­day night that he was will­ing to serve, but only if he earned the en­dorse­ment of all three of the House Re­pub­lic­an’s main caucuses: the Free­dom Caucus, Tues­day Group, and the Re­pub­lic­an Study Com­mit­tee.

The Free­dom Caucus has a long list of con­cerns for Ry­an ran­ging from his stance on im­mig­ra­tion re­form to his stip­u­la­tion that he will only run for speak­er if mem­bers do away with the “mo­tion to va­cate the chair,” a rule con­ser­vat­ives in the con­fer­ence had used to threaten Boehner’s speak­er­ship.

“The de­mands to change Jef­fer­son’s rules on the mo­tion to va­cate the chair seems kind of ar­cane, but I think it has worked since 1801 so I think that should prob­ably not be changed,” says Rep. Tim Huel­skamp of Kan­sas. “If it was good enough for Thomas Jef­fer­son, I think it is good enough for us.”

Rep. Mo Brooks from Alabama said he takes is­sue with the fact that “there are mem­bers of Con­gress who would try to force Paul Ry­an in­to the speak­er­ship po­s­i­tion when he has said can­didly that he does not want the job and be­cause of fam­ily com­mit­ments, does not have the time to do it.”

Boehner said Wed­nes­day that he has spent time help­ing Ry­an re­ima­gine the job of speak­er so that Ry­an would be able to spend less time on the road, fun­drais­ing away from his fam­ily in Wis­con­sin.

“I think there is a way to do that and I frankly out­lined a way that Paul could do this dif­fer­ently than the way I did it,” Boehner said.

Ry­an still will sit down and meet with the Free­dom Caucus in a form­al dis­cus­sion. He has set a dead­line of Fri­day to make his de­cision.

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