Ten days later, GOP no closer on a speaker candidate

After 10 days away from Washington, House Republicans will return to work on Tuesday no closer to finding a new speaker than when they left on Oct. 9.

When they left, Republican hopes were pinned on House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who was talked into reconsidering his firm decision not to run for speaker. But as of Monday, Ryan appeared no closer a decision to run for the top post.

"Congressman Ryan spent the weekend at home with his family. There is no update, and he looks forward to listening to and speaking with his colleagues this week," said his spokesman, Brendan Buck.

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Ryan is said to be interested in the job only if he can have it without trading off power with a faction of about 40 House conservatives who would be needed to elect him in a floor vote.

The conservatives are demanding rules changes that would end the "top down" approach that typifies how House leadership operates. Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and a trio of GOP lawmakers will begin examining the rules on Tuesday in search of changes that can mollify conservatives.

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