Thursday, March 31, 2016

Oh, how we long for the days of Tip O'Neill

Is the honeymoon over for House Speaker Paul Ryan?

Lisa Mascaro, LA Times

When Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) took over as House speaker, it was supposed to signal a new era for Republicans — the arrival of a younger, more conservative visionary, who scrubbed the cigarette smoke stains from outgoing Speaker John A. Boehner’s Capitol office, and promised a fresh start.

Republicans craved the upbeat, button-down image Ryan offered. And his team served up the Ryan brand with marketing flourish — lofty speeches, a TV blitz and videos galore, including a cheeky snow-cam from the speaker’s balcony showing the winter blizzard over the National Mall.

But five months in, Ryan finds himself with a familiar problem. As Congress is careening toward another budget crisis and the Republican Party is ripping itself apart over Donald Trump’s rise, the man best known as the architect of the GOP’s austere spending blueprint is likely to miss an April 15 deadline to approve a new funding plan for 2017.

He’s been unable to overcome the same resistance from the conservative House Freedom Caucus that doomed his predecessor, and is so far similarly unwilling to use the power of the speaker’s office to force stragglers to fall into line.

(More here.)

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