WASHINGTON — The House Republican Conference met Tuesday evening and decided that the three House GOP main factions — the Freedom Caucus, the Republican Study Committee, and the Tuesday group — will each decide whether their respective groups should endorse House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan by the end of the week.
“That will be a decision they need to make by Friday, so that he will either go forward as a candidate or that others can prepare,” Republican California Rep. Darrel Issa told reporters. According to Issa, there was overwhelming applause in the conference at the idea of a consensus on Ryan by the end of the week. “I heard no dissent at all so I think we are well on our way to at least having those three groups meet.”
“He would demand regular order,” Issa told The Daily Caller.
Members say that Ryan said that he made himself available to be their speaker out if they we wanted him. However, according to members at the meting, he specifically mentioned he wanted all three groups’ support and wants to know by the end of this week.
“[Rep. Ryan] basically said he’s willing to take arrows in the chest but not in the back,” Republican New York Rep. Peter King told reporters.
Additionally, Ryan told reporters he would only do the job if certain conditions were met.
“First, we need to move from being an opposition party to a proposition party. Because we think the nation is on the wrong path, we have a duty to show the right one. Our next speaker needs to be a visionary one,” he said
“Second, we need to update our House rules so that everyone can be a more effective representative. This is, after all, the people’s house. But we need to do it as a team. And it needs to include fixes that ensure we don’t experience constant leadership challenges and crisis.”
Ryan went further saying, “Third, we, as a conference, should unify now, and not after a divisive speaker election.”
“The last one is personal. I cannot and will not give up my family time. I may not be able to be on the road as much as previous speakers, but I pledged to make up for it with more time communicating our message,” he said.
Republican Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz dropped out of the speaker’s race Tuesday night and threw his support behind Ryan.
“He’s the right person at the right time. I’m proud of Paul. He gave quite a speech in there and it showed he’s the type of leader this conference needs,” Chaffetz said.
Prior the conference meeting, Florida Republican Rep. Daniel Webster , the current endorsed candidate of the Freedom Caucus, told The Daily Caller he was unconcerned about the numbers that could turn against him.
“I got in selling a message. That’s what I’m doing,” he said. “And if the majority of the people of the House and the people of our conference want to go another way and continue to operate under a power base system, so be it. But I think we’re winning the message,” he said.
Webster added, “Every candidate up until now has talked about member empowerment and including everybody and all these things that we talked about. None of them had done it. I’ve done it, but that’s not the point. The message is winning. That’s what I’m promoting.”