Paul Ryan's lame-duck speakership has been a disaster.
Was Paul Ryan being delusional when he announced that he wouldn’t be stepping down as Speaker of the House immediately, even though he planned on quitting Congress in January?
Ryan claimed he’d have no problem hanging onto the reigns of power, even with his lame-duck status. But now, with the GOP caucus is chaos, and the White House losing key votes in the House, pressure is mounting to fire Ryan.
“Top Republicans in Congress and the White House have in recent days entertained a plan to push House Speaker Paul Ryan out of his post over the summer, in an effort to clear the way for his presumed successor, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, to assume the speakership,” the conservative Weekly Standard reports.
If the coup takes place, Ryan would remain a member of Congress until he quits in January.
Note that Ryan’s tenure has also been marked by incompetence. Whereas then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was able to help President Barack Obama shepherd historic bills through Congress, such as Obamacare and the Recovery Act, which helped save the U.S. economy, Ryan has proven himself to be nearly completely ineffective, as Congress under Trump has ground to a halt, legislatively.
Worse, last week the GOP-sponsored Farm Bill was defeated in the House, which represented a shocking black eye for Ryan. The vote highlighted the Speaker’s lack of juice.
As one “senior Republican source” quickly told Politico following the debacle, “This is the problem when you have a lame duck speaker who announces he’s leaving eight months in advance.” The source added, “He can make calls to members to urge them to vote for something, but who will care?”
Meanwhile, moderate Republicans refuse to back down and are demanding Ryan allow a House vote to protect young immigrants in America.
Ryan has leaned heavily on the idea that he should remain as speaker through the end of the year because he’s such a successful fundraiser.
But there’s no indication or precedent to support the idea that donors will give lavishly to a lame duck speaker, especially when his retirement is viewed by many as a white flag of surrender — an acknowledgment that his party is going to lose control of the House after November.
With each passing week it doesn’t look like Ryan’s dream of coasting through 2018 as Speaker until he quits Congress next year will come true.