WASHINGTON — After receiving support for speaker from almost 70 percent of the House Freedom Caucus, Ways And Means Chairman Paul Ryan decided to go forward with a bid for the speaker’s gavel.
Ryan did not receive an official endorsement of the Freedom Caucus, as that required 80 percent support from the caucus members, but the 70 percent willing to vote for him on the floor would be enough to give him the leadership position. Without the endorsement, however, Ryan’s preconditions to be speaker were not agreed to by the members of the Freedom Caucus.
“I’m grateful for the support of a supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus,” Chairman Ryan tweeted in a statement Wednesday night. “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.”
My statement after a meeting of the House Freedom Caucus: pic.twitter.com/lxmzBrUcms
— Paul Ryan (@PRyan) October 22, 2015
The Freedom Caucus responded to Ryan’s acceptance in a statement saying:
“A supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus has voted to support Paul Ryan’s bid to become the next Speaker of the House. Paul is a policy entrepreneur who has developed conservative reforms dealing with a wide variety of subjects, and he has promised to be an ideas-focused Speaker who will advance limited government principles and devolve power to the membership. While no consensus exists among members of the House Freedom Caucus regarding Chairman Ryan’s preconditions for serving, we believe that these issues can be resolved within our Conference in due time. We all know that Washington needs to change the way it does business, and we look forward to working with Paul and all our colleagues to enact process reforms that empower individual representatives and restore respect to our institution.”
The members of the other two GOP factions, the Republican Study Committee and the Tuesday Group, are expected to at least support Ryan if not outright endorse the Wisconsin Republican. Outgoing Speaker John Boehner has scheduled the speaker election to be held next Wednesday.