Updated 10:28 a.m. | House Republicans are expected to select Rep. Paul D. Ryan as their speaker candidate ahead of a Thursday floor vote, but the Wisconsin Republican’s decision to support a budget deal loathed by many rank-and-file members could reduce the number of votes he gets.
Ryan said in a statement announcing his plan to support the budget deal, scheduled for House floor action Wednesday, that there are “few good options” and that the agreement “will go a long way toward relieving the uncertainty hanging over us.” While Ryan said his vote would be determined by the substance of the bill and lack of a better alternative, he panned the process in which it was put together and vowed to restore regular order to the budget process moving forward.
“There is no doubt that a better process would have produced a better result,” he said. “If I’m elected speaker, we will begin a conversation about how to approach these big issues — as a team — long before we reach these kinds of deadlines. We simply can’t keep doing business this way.”
Many House Republicans have raised concerns about various parts of the budget agreement and several have complained about the leadership-driven process in which it was put together. A few members have said they would vote against the bill for that reason, so they may not look favorably upon Ryan’s decision to support it.
The House Freedom Caucus, with 39 confirmed members, said it would vote against the measure on the floor and railed against the way the deal came together.
“The American people and their representatives get shut out of the process,” a caucus statement said, “and the bill is rushed through the House on short notice and without proper scrutiny or the ability to offer amendments. This deal is an affront to open, accountable, and limited government.”
Ryan said the budget deal included “some good, some bad, and some ugly” but highlighted some positives, such as increased defense spending and entitlement changes.
The House GOP conference will vote on their speaker candidate at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
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