John Boehner set Oct. 28 as the date that Republicans will pick a candidate to be his successor as Speaker of the House. Earlier this month, Boehner tendered his resignation from the position in a move that surprised many. Now that the position will be vacant, the GOP is attempting to unify its support behind one potential candidate so that when the vote hits the open floor in the House of Representatives, Republicans can dictate who the next Speaker will be.
Is Paul Ryan up next?
Boehner and other members of the Republican party are confident the Wisconsin Representative and current House Ways and Means Committee chairman Paul Ryan will run for the Speaker position. But that doesn’t mean that he has the support of everyone in the party. Presidential candidate Donald Trump has his reservations about putting Ryan in such a position.
“I like him very much as a person,” Trump said in an interview, according to Bloomberg. “Certainly he has been weak on immigration and I’m very strong on immigration.”
In addition, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have endorsed fellow Republican Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida for Speaker of the House. But the door hasn’t been shut to other possibilities. Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona, for instance, said he’d like to simply talk to Ryan himself before he determines who he will give his support to for the Speaker bid, according to CNN.
Past work with President Obama
The White House feels optimistic about the possibility of Ryan becoming Speaker of the House. They cite his continued work with the current administration on major political issues, including immigration reform. After the last presidential election, Ryan worked on immigration reform and a path to legal citizenship for undocumented immigrants. He also fought to speed up the process for children of undocumented immigrants who attend universities across the country.
“The president believes that Congressman Ryan is someone who has given considerable thought to the significant issues that must be worked through in Congress,” announced White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz in a statement, according to Breitbart News Network.
While Paul Ryan appears to be the front runner to replace Boehner, he only wants the position if certain stipulations are met. Ryan’s spokesman, Brendan Buck, announced Ryan would only run if he had the support of the House Freedom Caucus, the Republican Study Committee and the Tuesday Group, CNN reported.
Ryan wants more unity among representatives in changing rules within the House and more job security as the Speaker. He has maintained that he wants more freedom to have a personal life than Boehner had as well.