Rep. Paul Ryan says he’s ready to run for House speaker. But first, the Wisconsin Republican has some non-negotiables.
According to a statement released by Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck, the former GOP vice presidential nominee will seek the position only if he receives the full support of every Republican faction—moderates and conservatives.
“Unless the speaker is a unifying figure across the conference, he or she will face the same challenges that have beset our current leadership.” In the face of those obstacles, though, if Ryan doesn’t receive support from moderate and conservative wings of the party, he will not run, Buck explained.
Ryan, who currently chairs the Ways and Means Committee, gave his Republican colleagues until Friday to make their decision.
Behind closed doors in the U.S. Capitol, Ryan laid out a vision for a successful speakership that included party transformation and unification, as well as procedural reforms and requirements for personal space.
According to prepared remarks released by his office, Ryan stressed the need for House Republicans to transform “from being an opposition party to a proposition party.” If the GOP believes “the nation is on the wrong path,” Ryan said, “we have a duty to show the right one.”
Ryan also addressed concerns from the conservative House Freedom Caucus about the need for decentralized governance and a return to “regular order” in the House.
In general terms, he called for “needed updates to our House rules” that would allow members to serve as “more effective representatives” and would preclude “constant leadership challenges and crisis.”
According to Buck, one specific rule that needs changing is the motion to vacate the chair. The aide says, “no matter who is speaker, they cannot be successful with this weapon pointed at them [sic] all the time.”
In July, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., filed a motion to remove Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. The measure hadn’t been employed in over a century until that point. Before a vote could be taken on the motion to depose, Boehner stepped down, triggering the current speaker scramble.
A husband and father of three children, Ryan explained that unlike recent House speakers, he would not “give up my family time.”