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Ryan to Colleagues: I’m In

Ryan will run for speaker. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Ryan will run for speaker. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Paul D. Ryan is officially in.  

After receiving sufficient support from three major factions of the House GOP, the Wisconsin Republican announced Thursday he will run for speaker. “I never thought I’d be speaker,” Ryan said in a letter to colleagues Thursday evening. “But I pledged to you that if I could be a unifying figure, then I would serve — I would go all in. After talking with so many of you, and hearing your words of encouragement, I believe we are ready to move forward as a one, united team. And I am ready and eager to be our speaker.”  

Ryan said Tuesday he was open to the speakership if the conference could meet his conditions. One of those demands was endorsements from the Republican Study Committee, the center-right Tuesday Group and, most challenging of all, the House Freedom Caucus .  

While the HFC stopped short of formally endorsing Ryan — under its bylaws, an official endorsement requires approval from 80 percent of the caucus — Ryan received 27 votes from the 39-member organization, HFC members told CQ Roll Call. That was enough for the Wisconsin Republican.  

Ryan also had other demands, most notably that he be able to keep his weekends free for his family and that the House change the rules governing “the motion to vacate the chair.” Ryan has received some criticism on his intent to change that privileged vote to remove a speaker, particularly from HFC members who sought to employ it against John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.  

In its official statement announcing a supermajority support for Ryan, the HFC was careful to note it did not support Ryan’s conditions. However, with the group’s tacit endorsement in hand, the current Ways and Means Chairman is moving ahead.  

This doesn’t mean the race for speaker is settled. With members home in their districts this weekend, any number of factors could change the ballgame between now and the conference nominating election on Oct. 28. The full House is scheduled to elect a speaker the following day.  


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