Tag Archives: Paul Ryan

Freedom caucus demands impeachment vote on IRS head

Good news: Despite the opposition of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), the conservative Freedom Caucus in the House is demanding a vote on the House floor on the impeachment of IRS head John Koskinen.

Two points: First, the vote is not guaranteed, as the motion put forth now will expire during the summer recess. The caucus will have to re-introduce it when Congress reconvenes in September, something they say they will do.

Second, Ryan’s resistance to having this vote does not speak well for him, considering the outrageous stonewalling by Koskinen in connection with IRS scandal, including lying to Congress and participating in the destruction of evidence that had been specifically requested by Congress. It also helps confirm the accusations of Ryan’s opponent in the August 9 Republican primary, Paul Nehlen, that Ryan is not the conservative he claims to be.

45 Republicans vote against Paul Ryan nomination

The Republicans have nominated Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) for Speaker of the House with only 200 of 245 votes.

Those 45 members are enough to block him from getting the Speakership during the partisan floor vote on Thursday — if the 45 GOP legislators maintain their opposition, and if Ryan is not aided by a last-minute bloc of Democratic votes.

During the closed-door conference, Ryan won just 200 votes for the nomination. Former Florida House Speaker Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) earned a whopping 43 votes. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) — who isn’t officially running for Speaker — received one vote. House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who dropped out of the Speakership race a couple weeks ago, got one vote as well.

The failure on Ryan’s part to win 218 votes—the threshold for anyone to win the Speakership on the House floor assuming every member of the House is present and voting for a person—is a major embarrassment on his part.

If those who opposed Ryan in this Republican vote maintain that opposition when the whole House votes, the only way Ryan can become Speaker is if he gets Democratic votes. If that happens than either he won’t become Speaker or the Republican Party faces a breakup.

Based on recent events with the budget deal, it might make sense for some of these fake conservatives in the Republican Party to admit their real loyalty and join the Democrats. The conservatives would then probably lose control of Congress, but at least we would know where people honestly stood.

Ryan to support budget deal

The fix is in: House Speaker-to-be Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) announced today that he will support the two year budget deal worked out by the White House and Republican and Democratic leaders that locks in increased spending and raises the debt limit for the next two years.

I could also say that Ryan’s betrayal of the conservatives in Congress didn’t take long. He didn’t even wait until he was officially elected Speaker. And if you read his reasons for this decision at the link, you will see them for what they are, shallow talking points that mean nothing.

The only good thing about this is — and it isn’t much — is that it will likely provide Ted Cruz some nice ammunition during tonight’s Presidential debate.

That the Freedom Caucus in the House is pissed at the deal and will oppose it also suggests to me that we are getting closer and closer to a split in the Republican Party.

Increase push to get Ryan to run for House Speaker

The push to nominate Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to run for the House Speaker position has apparently accelerated.

In all this, Ryan appears uninterested in running. My guess as to why is that he right now has a far more conservative reputation than he deserves, and becoming Speaker would reveal his moderate tendencies to everyone. He does not want this. At the same time, Ryan is more conservative than John Boehner, and would be an improvement.

Update: A Washington Post story today says that Ryan is reconsidering his opposition to running for Speaker.

“It’s declassified and made public once it’s agreed to.”

Does the quote above, said by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) during debate over the secret Obamatrade bills, remind you of anything? Weren’t we forced to try this dubious legislative approach by Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and the Democrats with Obamacare?

Finding out what was in it after Obamacare was made law has very clearly turned out to be a disaster. The last thing the Republicans should be doing now is to repeat this corrupt practice themselves.

Update: Support for this foolishness in the House appears tepid at best:

According to The Hill, only 116 Republicans and 19 Democrats in the House are committed or leaning to supporting the bill, while 130 Democrats and 29 Republicans are committed or leaning to opposition. That leaves 139 up in the air, most of them Republicans. To get to 218, Boehner and Pelosi will have to find at least 82 more votes out of the 139, a tall order indeed.

Paul Ryan: No new gas taxes

Unlike his Senate Republican cohorts, who were very quick after the election to scream for a tax increase, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) has now made it very clear that the House will pass no gas tax increases this year.

Good for Ryan. The article notes that large majorities strongly oppose any tax hike. The Republicans ran on a platform of shrinking government, not increasing the tax burden. For Senate Republicans to make a gas tax increase practically their first order of business after taking charge in 2015 is beyond disgusting.

It appears that Senate Republicans will filibuster the Ryan budget deal.

Maybe not so stupid: It appears that Senate Republicans will filibuster the Ryan budget deal.

If the Republicans in the Senate can force some changes, to both the reduction in the sequester cuts over the next two years as well as the procedural change that ends the minority’s ability to block tax increases, then they will have accomplished something.

What I like about this is that they appear to be willing to fight, something Republicans all too often fail to do.

Yup, this sums it up nicely.

Yup, this sums it up nicely.

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan has now accomplished the astonishing task of pushing House Republicans substantially to the left of the Senate GOP. His budget deal, announced Tuesday night, was achieved by shutting conservative Senate Republicans out of negotiations, by resorting to the old trick of spending now while claiming savings later, by ignoring a symbolically important budgetary red line, and by treating as Democratic “concessions” things to which even Democratic budgeteers already had agreed.

The chess equivalent of Ryan’s deal would be trading a castle for a mere pawn. No wonder conservatives are feeling rooked.

The absurdity of this deal is highlighted especially by the ongoing disaster of Obamacare. The Republicans have a very strong negotiating hand right now. They could have actually demanded a repeal of Obamacare in budget talks and thus pushed the Democrats into a corner for which there really is no escape. What would the Democrats do, shut the government down again so that more people could lose their health insurance?

Instead, Ryan behaved as if the Democrats have a Royal Flush and he only had a pair of twos. The stupid party strikes again!

The Ryan budget deal includes a provision that limits the ability of the Senate minority to block tax increases.

The stupid party: The Ryan budget deal includes a provision that limits the ability of the Senate minority to block tax increases.

The bill includes language from the Senate Democrats’ budget that voids senators’ ability to raise a budget “point of order” against replacing the sequester cuts with tax increases. The process is quite complicated, but in practice it grants Harry Reid the authority to send tax increases to the House with a bare majority, rather than the 60-vote threshold that would be required under a point of order.

In other words, another example of a Republican getting hosed in negotiations.

Though I have read several conservative reports about this deal that outline some of its positive benefits, on the whole it appears to be another defeat for the right.

“It’s hard to see how conservatives support it,” he said. “The question is, how angry will they get?”

The budget deal: “It’s hard to see how conservatives support it,” he said. “The question is, how angry will they get?”

As is usual, the Republicans negotiated away something they didn’t have to for a promise of something that they will never get. The stupid party loses again.

Why Republicans should reject the surrender budget deal rumors say Paul Ryan is negotiating with Democrats.

Why Republicans should reject the surrender budget deal rumors say Paul Ryan is negotiating with Democrats.

Expect more articles like this. There are a lot of conservatives in the Republican House caucus who are no longer willing to lick the feet of Democrats, even if the Republican leadership is. And any deal that gives up sequestration is going to face their wrath.

Also, these kinds of articles serve to pressure Ryan so that he does not agree to a surrender.

Another news report suggests that Republicans are preparing to surrender in budget talks.

Another news report suggests that Republicans are preparing to surrender in budget talks.

Senior aides familiar with the talks say the emerging agreement aims to partially repeal the sequester and raise agency spending to roughly $1.015 trillion in fiscal 2014 and 2015. That would bring agency budgets up to the target already in place for fiscal 2016. To cover the cost, Ryan and Murray are haggling over roughly $65 billion in alternative policies, including cuts to federal worker pensions and higher security fees for the nation’s airline passengers.

Republican leaders are also seeking additional savings to knock a small dent in deficits projected to exceed $6 trillion over the next decade. But the deal would do nothing to trim the debt, which is now larger, as a percentage of the economy, than at any point in U.S. history except during World War II. [emphasis mine]

To me, the biggest disappointment of this surrender is that Paul Ryan is negotiating it, proof that he too is no fiscal conservative and worse is far more stupid than I had thought.

Ryan’s speech

If you depend on the conservative commentary about Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech yesterday at the Republican convention to find out how he did, you would have no doubt that this was the greatest and most effective speech since Genesis. To quote just one report:

Paul Ryan’s speech, in two words? Nailed it. Everything that I like (and surmise that others will like as he becomes more and more familiar to them) about Paul Ryan was on perfect display during his half hour-ish on stage. He was intelligent without being intimidating; he was stern and serious but still optimistic and even funny; and he hinted at his wonkiness without getting into jargon and maintained his approachability. But the most beautiful thing about Paul Ryan as the potential vice president of the United States is his uncanny knack for breaking through populist myths and shrill leftist attacks and instead communicating the merits of free-market economics and small government, all without being shrill or polarizing.

Because I’m not spending a lot of time watching these conventions, mostly because they really are nothing more than public relations events staged by both parties, I didn’t see the speech live. After reading reports like the one above, however, I decided late last night to go to youtube and dig up Ryan’s speech and see this amazing performance for myself.
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Contrasting Paul Ryan with Barack Obama.

Contrasting Paul Ryan with Barack Obama.

The next month, both [budget] plans came to a vote in the Senate. Ryan’s budget lost on a party-line vote; Obama’s lost 0-97. Erskine Bowles, a former chief of staff to Bill Clinton, and Obama’s own appointee to the deficit-control panel whose recommendations Obama completely ignored in that budget proposal, told a University of North Carolina audience in September 2011 that Ryan had proposed “a sensible, straightforward, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit by $4 trillion.” In contrast, Bowles told the audience, “I don’t think anyone took [Obama’s] budget very seriously.”

In February 2012, Obama proposed yet another unserious budget that ignored all of the realities of our short- and long-term fiscal shortfalls, with yet another trillion-dollar deficit. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner tried to tell Ryan and the House Budget Committee that Obama’s budget proposal would “stabilize” the deficits. This time, Ryan only needed four minutes to dismantle that argument, showing that Obama’s long-term budget only “stabilized” deficits for a decade, after which they escalated out of control — unlike Ryan’s long-term budget reforms, which solved the problem of escalating costs. “We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to our long-term problem,” Geithner finally exclaimed. “What we do know is we don’t like yours.”

Bluntly put, Obama has never been willing to propose anything that might solve the federal budget disaster, while Ryan has at least made an attempt.

The very predictable Democratic playbook against Paul Ryan:

The very predictable Democratic playbook against Paul Ryan:

In the national media narrative – perhaps best illustrated by the shorthand of Jay Leno’s monologue, which presumes that the audience has the barest-bone familiarity with national figures – every Republican figure is reduced to one of three things: Old, stupid, or evil.

George H.W. Bush: Old. Dan Quayle: Stupid. Newt Gingrich: Evil. Pat Buchanan: Evil. Bob Dole: Old. George W. Bush: Stupid. Dick Cheney: Old and evil. John McCain: Old. Sarah Palin: Stupid. ,,,

Because Paul Ryan isn’t old, we will see an effort to paint him as either stupid or evil. You and I know that painting Paul Ryan as stupid is like trying to paint Bill Clinton as chaste. But we have also witnessed the rapid definition of an unknown Republican figure four years ago, and we know that right now, every Democratic official, commentator, talking head, and more than a few reporters awaken this morning with a new mission in life: define Paul Ryan. [emphasis in the original]

In other words, substance be damned, the Democrats have got to find an ad hominem attack that will allow them to dismiss everything Ryan says, even if it makes sense.

For this reason alone I think it justified to fire every Democrat from elected office. Until we can get a reasoned debate on the federal government’s out-of-control debt, it will be impossible to fix the problem. And it is very clear that the Democrats are not willing to have that reasoned debate.

“Are they prepared to listen to reasoned arguments articulated by Ryan about the need for entitlement reform, or will they succumb to simplistic liberal cant about pushing grandma over the cliff?”

The choice of the electorate in November: “Are they prepared to listen to reasoned arguments articulated by Ryan about the need for entitlement reform, or will they succumb to simplistic liberal cant about pushing grandma over the cliff?”

Sadly, at this moment in the campaign we don’t know what the electorate will do. What we do know is that the Democrats are going to use some of the most absurd, hateful, and despicable attacks against both Romney and Ryan, as they did in 2008 against Sarah Palin and have so far against Romney. It is their idea of civility.

It appears that tomorrow Mitt Romney will name is vice presidential pick, and the rumors are saying its Paul Ryan.

It appears that at 8:45 am tomorrow (Saturday) Mitt Romney will name his vice presidential pick, and the rumors are saying it will be Paul Ryan.

If so, this will be further evidence that Romney is serious about dealing with the out-of-control federal budget. Of all the elected officials in Congress, Paul Ryan is probably the most educated and clear-headed about the budget situation, and has been willing to put his political head on the chopping block to take risks to deal with the problem. He is also one of the most articulate, intelligent, and thoughtful politicians I have seen in years. He will run rings around Joe Biden in any debate.

The only negative I see for this pick is that it will take Ryan out of the House, where he was in a position to wield a great deal of influence on budget matters. As vice-president he will not have as much power.

I’ve embedded below the fold a video of Paul Ryan describing clearly the budget problems posed by Obamacare during the White House summit called by President Obama. It is only one example, but it is worth watching to gauge the merits of this man. Also, read this long article on Ryan’s background and history.
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Vice President Paul Ryan?

Vice President Paul Ryan?

I say “Please!” and I say it loudly. Picking Ryan for number two would reverse Ronald Reagan’s biggest mistake, picking moderate George Bush Sr. as his VP. The result of that bad choice was 12 years of Bush rule in the late 1980s and in the 2000s, during which there was little effort to rein in the power or size of government. In fact, the Bushes did a lot to increase government’s power and size.

Picking Ryan as VP would place a competent fiscal conservative into the limelight and make such a person a leading contender for the Presidency in future years. It would also help demonstrate again that the 2010 election was a trend, not a fluke.

For the fourth year in a row, President Obama has defied a law that demands he take action on Medicare.

The law is such an inconvenient thing: For the fourth year in a row, President Obama has defied a law that demands he take action on Medicare.

This paragraph sums up why Obama has been so negligent:

Why won’t Barack Obama put forth a Medicare proposal? Simple. If he does, Democrats lose the opportunity to demagogue the issue in the run-up to the 2012 election.

The only politicians to propose any reasonable plan to make Medicare solvent have been the Republicans, led by Paul Ryan. I don’t like all the details in Ryan’s plan, but at least he’s proposed something. All Obama and the Democrats have been doing is fiddling while Rome burns, while blaming others for the fire.