By Joe Davidson October 20 at 6:13 PM
As the “will he, won’t he” game swirls around Rep. Paul Ryan’s decision to be or not to be speaker of the House, one question looms for the federal worker — what does it mean for me?
The answer – a potential hit on your pocketbook.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) listens on Capitol Hill in Washington in February 2014. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Unlike so much of what passes for news in Washington, this isn’t just speculation. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, left an unambiguous record during his four years as chairman of the House Budget Committee.
During that tenure, which ended in January, Ryan led the House in approving legislation that would effectively cut federal employees’ pay by forcing them to contribute more toward pensions with no increase in benefits, kill a retirement program for certain government staffers and eliminate student loan reimbursements. In his budget plans for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, Ryan pushed for even longer federal pay freezes than the three-year basic pay freeze initiated by President Obama. Additionally, Ryan repeatedly sought to reduce the number of federal employees through attrition. Feds were saved when many of his proposals were not adopted by the Senate, then controlled by Democrats.
Ryan’s votes have earned him failing grades on voting scorecards tabulated by federal employee organizations. In recent tallies, the American Federation of Government Employees scored him zero for failing to agree with the organization’s legislative positions a single time. He did a little better with the National Treasury Employees Union, 10 percent, and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) with 15 percent. Continue reading “What’s in store for federal pay and benefits if Ryan becomes speaker? A likely hit.”
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”
M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO
Some conservatives complain he’s setting them up to be blamed if he decides not to run.
By LAUREN FRENCH 10/20/15 11:50 PM EDT
Paul Ryan wants a full embrace from the House Freedom Caucus before he runs for House speaker. Early signs from the conservatives are they might never get there.
After Ryan addressed Republicans late Tuesday, saying he would need conservative backing to run, lawmakers in the 40-member group of hard-line conservatives came away wary of the Ways and Means chief’s demand for unconditional support. They were dismissive of his Ryan’s request that they relinquish a procedural tactic they used to threaten to strip outgoing Speaker John Boehner of his title – one of the most potent weapons in the group’s arsenal.
And it is clear the conservative lawmakers will insist on more specifics from Ryan before they would consider an endorsement. Sources within the caucus said he’ll have to discuss policy and procedural changes the Freedom Caucus wants and offer up tangible promises to decentralize power from leadership to rank-and-file members if he wants their backing. Continue reading “Freedom Caucus wary of Ryan’s demands”
CREDIT: AP PHOTO/ANDREW HARNIK
Paul Ryan, who has said repeatedly he does not want to be House Speaker, now will consider the position. But only if the all Republican House members, including the hard-line “Freedom Caucus,” agree to a series of demands.
What the Freedom Caucus wants
The Freedom Caucus, which consists of about 40 members, had been demanding that potential candidates for speaker make a detailed set of substantive commitments in exchange for their support. Kevin McCarthy wouldn’t agree to these, so the Freedom Caucus endorsed another candidate. McCarthy was then forced to drop out because he didn’t have enough support to be elected speaker.
McCarthy had good reason to resist. Although Freedom Caucus members say they want “process reforms,” they are actually seeking a series of commitments from a potential speaker candidates that would send the country over a cliff.
For example, they want the next speaker to refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless it is tied to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This is something the Democrats in Congress and President Obama would never agree to, potentially setting up the country for catastrophic default. Continue reading “Potential Speaker Paul Ryan Just Issued A List Of Demands To Republicans. The Right Wing Isn’t Happy.”