‘Supermajority’ of Freedom Caucus Backs Ryan for Speaker, But Doesn’t Issue Formal Endorsement
The following is an excerpt from JOHN MCCORMACK | October 21, 2015 | weeklystandard.com |
Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho emerged from a meeting of the House Freedom Caucus tonight to announce that a supermajority of the caucus supports Paul Ryan as speaker of the House. "We tried to reach a consensus but we were not able to reach the 80 percent threshold" needed to issue a formal endorsement, Labrador said.
According to Ryan's spokesman, Ryan told members of the House Tuesday night that he would run for speaker and serve if he receives "the endorsement of all the conference’s major caucuses." It was not immediately clear if the supermajority support--described as "more than two-thirds" of the 36-member caucus--was good enough for Ryan without a formal endorsement.*
Labrador also said that those Freedom Caucus members who do back Ryan did not reach a consensus on Ryan's conditions to serve. Ryan called Tuesday for a "change to the process for a motion to vacate the chair." The current process allows any single member to force a floor vote to oust the speaker.
Labrador reiterated it was a "nonstarter" to abolish the motion to vacate (something Ryan hadn't actually proposed). But what about increasing the number of sponsors needed to bring a vote to the floor? "We can have that discussion. We're open to whatever rules change process is. We're open to a lot of different ideas," Labrador replied.
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