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Exclusive — Discussion About GOP Replacement to Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House Intensifies in White House, Congress
Republican officials in Congress and the White House are now openly discussing finding a GOP replacement to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as Speaker of the House, after Ryan failed to pass the American Health Care Act out of the House and misled the public and President Donald Trump when he promised repeatedly the bill would pass.
Ryan was caught on an audio file from October—obtained by Breitbart News and published a couple weeks ago—saying he is “not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future.” While the audio file does not make the comments clear, Ryan’s staff later claimed that it was specifically about the Access Hollywood tape scandal from the election. The audio tape of Ryan, recorded from a House GOP members’ conference call, does not make that context clear... the president is concerned that Ryan may not have his—or his agenda’s—best interests at heart. Ryan’s failure to deliver the votes on healthcare cement Trump’s skepticism of Ryan, they say... After the election in November, it was widely reported that there were enough Republican votes to remove Ryan as Speaker—and the only reason conservatives kept him is that Trump won the election and embraced Ryan. But now Trump may perceive Ryan as a burden rather than someone who can help enact his agenda.. It has gotten so far along in the process that alternative names are being thrown around—anyone from House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), to former Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, to House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)—to Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Peter Roskam (R-IL), according to one senior House GOP aide... The fact that Frelinghuysen—a committee chairman of the powerful House panel that oversees the disbursement of government cash–came out publicly against the legislation is proof that Ryan has problems inside the House GOP conference that go much deeper than the House Freedom Caucus. It is worth noting that Frelinghuysen is a direct descendant of America’s founding fathers, and his family has served in Congress in every generation since the 1700s... There are ongoing discussions in House offices conference-wide whether Republicans should use the same tactic that conservatives used in 2015 to remove now-former Speaker John Boehner from the House. Back then, Meadows—then just a member of the House Freedom Caucus—introduced what is called a resolution with a motion to vacate the chair... Asked explicitly whether President Trump has confidence in Ryan remaining as Speaker, White House press secretary Sean Spicer would not answer Breitbart News, yes or no.