NPR logo

Paul Ryan Wins Republican Nomination For Speaker Of The House

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/452608551/452608552" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Paul Ryan Wins Republican Nomination For Speaker Of The House

Politics

Paul Ryan Wins Republican Nomination For Speaker Of The House

Paul Ryan Wins Republican Nomination For Speaker Of The House

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/452608551/452608552" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan won the Republican nomination speaker of the House Wednesday, but there are questions about whether he will be able to bring together a fractured caucus.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Welcome to the Paul Ryan era. House Republicans have overwhelmingly agreed to nominate the Wisconsin congressman as their new speaker. He's expected to take the gavel tomorrow after a vote by the entire House of Representatives. Earlier today, he spelled out how he plans to run things.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PAUL RYAN: We are not going to have a house that looks like it looked the last two years. We are going to move forward. We are going to unify. Our party has lost its vision, and we're going to replace it with a vision.

SHAPIRO: For hard-line conservatives, that means he'll empower them more. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports on how Ryan might govern differently from his predecessor.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Few people get to accept a new job on the condition that they will succeed at it. But in the case of Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, the stage has been deliberately set for his success. A contentious group of hard-line conservatives has given Ryan its backing, for now, and Speaker John Boehner took fiscal crises off the table until 2017 by reaching a budget deal this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN BOEHNER: Listen, I made it clear a month ago when I announced that I was leaving that I wanted to do my best to clean the barn. I didn't want him to walk into a dirty barn full of you know what.

CHANG: Yeah, about that barn...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LOUIE GOHMERT: I didn't know when the barn got cleaned out I'd get so much maneuver on me.

CHANG: You see, the barn still contains some hazards for Ryan. Conservatives like Louie Gohmert of Texas resent how the budget agreement was negotiated behind closed doors. It smacked of the top-down leadership style they hate. Even Ryan agreed this week, it smelled.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RYAN: I think this process stinks. This is not the way to do the people's business. And under new management, we are not going to do the people's businesses this way.

CHANG: Ryan now says he'll support the budget deal, but he promises that from now on, the people's business will be done more collaboratively among House Republicans. And the most conservative members of the caucus, like John Fleming of Louisiana, say Ryan better not let them down.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN FLEMING: He promises a much more orderly and grassroots process from the ground up, an organic type of process. And we're going to take him at his word.

CHANG: And Fleming says that means Ryan needs to include conservatives like him in the decision making long before deadlines so the caucus can come up with unified strategies. No more last-minute budget deals.

FLEMING: Certainly he's made those commitments in private that he's going to not drop a big bill like this on us at the last minute.

CHANG: But what about the realities of governing? You can't have all 247 House Republicans at the negotiating table every single time. Here's Republican Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JEFF FORTENBERRY: You do have a hierarchy of leadership at some point because it's necessary for order and governance. So where those lines exactly fall, we're all going to have to wrestle with.

CHANG: But for now, Ryan is riding a wave of goodwill. And the man next in line to lead the Senate Democrats has been full of praise, Chuck Schumer of New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHUCK SCHUMER: Every time I've dealt with him, he's been straightforward, he's been honorable and he's been willing to compromise.

CHANG: But Schumer says he's read the fiscal vision statements that Ryan has drafted in the past. They're too conservative.

SCHUMER: When I look at his budget, I say, yikes. You know, privatizing Medicare, Social Security, decimating the whole federal government. That's sort of almost apart from the Paul Ryan that you know when you talk to.

CHANG: Ryan's fiscal proposals actually didn't include Social Security reform, but Schumer's main point is well taken by many other Democrats. Ryan is a good guy, but they will still disagree with him on plenty except for maybe one thing, they like his idea of not working weekends. Ailsa Chang, NPR News, the Capitol.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.