White House, GOP near two-year budget deal

White House, GOP near two-year budget deal

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By Alexander Bolton – 10/26/15 12:35 PM EDT

Senior White House officials and congressional leaders are nearing a deal to raise the debt limit and set the budget for the next two years, say sources familiar with the talks.

The agreement is not yet final as negotiators still need to settle a dispute over controversial policy riders, but congressional leaders hope to announce something Monday evening, according to a Senate source. The deal would cover the 2016 and 2017 budget years. Continue reading “White House, GOP near two-year budget deal”

Paul Ryan prepares to ascend to speaker; pile of mess awaits

Paul Ryan prepares to ascend to speaker; pile of mess awaits

Associated Press

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Boehner: Paul Ryan Would Make A Great Speaker

Boehner: Paul Ryan Would Make A Great Speaker

Boehner: Paul Ryan Would Make A Great Speaker

WASHINGTON (AP) — The honeymoon might be over before it even begins for House Speaker-in-waiting Paul Ryan when he is elevated to the top job this coming week.

The Wisconsin Republican, on track to prevail in secret-ballot GOP elections Wednesday and in a full House vote Thursday, would take over at a moment of chaos notable even for a Congress where crisis has become routine.

Lawmakers are barreling toward a Nov. 3 deadline to raise the federal borrowing limit or face an unprecedented government default, and there’s no plan in sight for averting it.

Crucial highway funding authority is about to expire, requiring a short-term extension that no one supports.

And early December will bring the next chapter in the government shutdown wars, with a must-pass deadline for spending legislation a ripe opportunity for brinksmanship.

Continue reading “Paul Ryan prepares to ascend to speaker; pile of mess awaits”

Ryan pledges ‘clean slate’ as he seeks job of House Speaker

Ryan pledges ‘clean slate’ as he seeks job of House Speaker

Associated Press

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, following meetings with House Republican leaders and the Freedom Caucus members. Ryan seeking unity in a place it's rarely found, is telling House Republicans he will serve as their speaker only if they embrace him by week's end as their consensus candidate.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, following meetings with House Republican leaders and the Freedom Caucus members. Ryan seeking unity in a place it’s rarely found, is telling House Republicans he will serve as their speaker only if they embrace him by week’s end as their consensus candidate. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Paul Ryan, on his way to becoming speaker of the House and second in line to the presidency, says Congress must change its ways.

“We are not solving the country’s problems; we are only adding to them,” he says.

The 45-year-old House Ways and Means Committee chairman pledges to change that dynamic if selected speaker in elections next week. He is a lock for the job now that he’s secured support from all factions of the House GOP, including the hardline Freedom Caucus.

“We have an opportunity to turn the page, to start with a clean slate, and to rebuild what has been lost,” Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, said in a letter to fellow Republicans late Thursday that formally announced his candidacy. “We can make the House a more open and inclusive body — one where every member can contribute to the legislative process.”

Continue reading “Ryan pledges ‘clean slate’ as he seeks job of House Speaker”

10 Freedom Caucus Members Publicly Reject Paul Ryan, Enough To Doom His Candidacy For Speaker

CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Paul Ryan has a big obstacle standing the way of becoming House Speaker: Math.

As a condition of him accepting the position of House Speaker, Ryan laid out a list of demands. Chief among them is that the Republican caucus gives up their ability to call a “Motion To Vacate The Chair,” which is basically a method of deposing a sitting speaker.

Another key demand from Ryan is that he secure the endorsement of all the major caucuses within the House GOP.

That won’t be an issue for Ryan with one big exception, the Freedom Caucus. The Freedom Caucus is comprised of about 40 hard-line members who want the House Republicans to be much more aggressive. They are the also the group who forced out Speaker John Boehner by threatening a Motion To Vacate The Chair.

According to Freedom Caucus rules, you need the support of four-fifths of the caucus to secure their endorsement. That means anyone who is opposed by more than 8 members will not be able to be endorsed by the group.

Already 10 Freedom Caucus members have publicly expressed their opposition to Ryan or his key demand, which is enough to sink his candidacy.

Ryan could either change his demands or any of these Representatives could change their position. But as it stands now, things are not looking up for Paul Ryan. Continue reading “10 Freedom Caucus Members Publicly Reject Paul Ryan, Enough To Doom His Candidacy For Speaker”

GOP to elect Speaker next week; conservatives skeptical of Ryan

GOP to elect Speaker next week; conservatives skeptical of Ryan

By Scott Wong and Mike Lillis – 10/21/15 09:38 AM EDT

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is getting a cool reception from House conservatives, whom he said must endorse him before he’ll agree to run for Speaker.

Leaders of the House Freedom Caucus and their conservative allies said Wednesday they’re turned off by the list of conditions Ryan said must be met before he launches a bid for the top post.

In addition to backing from three major GOP caucuses, Ryan wants assurances he could cut back on fundraising trips so he can spend more time with his family and promises that conservatives won’t try to oust him from power.

“It’s like interviewing a maid for a job and she says, ‘I don’t clean windows, I don’t do floors, I don’t do beds, these are the hours I’ll work.’ It’s rubbing a lot of people the wrong way,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), a co-founder of the Freedom Caucus, told The Hill. Continue reading “GOP to elect Speaker next week; conservatives skeptical of Ryan”