The Republican earthquake took another turn for the better as exuberant GOP lawmakers and Republicans on Tuesday united behind Paul Ryan, nominating the Wisconsin lawmaker to serve as Speaker of the House for the next two years. It was the end of an amazing political journey for President-elect Donald Trump and Ryan who had clashed on many occasions during the primaries and general election.
Ryan ran unopposed for the top leadership post. He was nominated in a unanimous voice vote during a closed-door meeting in the Longworth Building. The Trump government of 2017 is on a smooth course that has startled the political pundits and lawmakers alike.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Policy Chairman Luke Messer (R-Ind.) were all were unanimously reelected to their leadership posts.
Ryan will cruise to reelection as Speaker on Jan. 3, 2017 when all members of the House of Representatives cast their vote in a public roll call. The Speaker needs nothing more than a simple majority, roughly 218 votes, to win his first full, two-year term as Speaker, the job he’s repeatedly said he never wanted or sought out. Wrong.
Until recently, some Republicans were privately questioning Ryan’s future after he waffled on backing GOP nominee Donald Trump during the primaries and campaign. The uproar was avoided by a Trump victory. Had he lost, Ryan would have been considered by many rank and file Republicans as a main reason for defeat.
But it is bygones be bygones and all smiles in the aftermath of the biggest presidential election upset in US history. Trump was credited by Ryan for helping both the House and Senate preserve their GOP majorities.
What a difference a week makes.
In Tuesday morning’s closed door conference meeting, Ryan told his colleagues that he had just spoken to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who relayed a message that the Trump-Pence team is supportive of the House leadership team. He said, “I talk with Donald Trump virtually every single day. I spoke with Mike Pence this morning. We are the same page, we’re working hand in glove and we’re going to make sure that this is a very successful administration,” he told reporters after the conference meeting.
However, not all Republicans are signaling support for Ryan. But after the unanimous vote, it is assumed they will quietly go along in the new and unified Republican majority in both houses of Congress. The bulk of the GOP conference is sticking with Ryan, and so is Trump.
Indeed, what a difference a week makes. It is not going unnoticed by a besieged and divided Democratic Party, and their baggage of 14-year Democratic leader in the House, ultra-liberal Nancy Pelosi (D-SF, CA). The people have spoken and the word is, Nancy is now a political dinosaur in the wake of a Republican sweep.