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Paul Ryan’s successor will have to deal with a lot of pent up anger



WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) returns to the room after a short break during a House Republican closed door meeting on immigration June 21, 2018 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Due to the defeat of a conservative immigration bill today, House Republican leaders have postponed a vote on a 'compromise' immigration proposal until next week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty

  • Republicans will have a new race for Speaker of the
    House with Paul Ryan’s retirement.
  • A major sticking point for many House Republicans is
    whether or not they will be allowed to offer amendments, which
    has been a very strict process under Ryan.

WASHINGTON — There is a lot of pent-up anger in the House
Republican Conference from members who feel frozen out of the
legislative process, with which the successor to House Speaker
Paul Ryan will have to contend or face the same rebellions and
party infighting. 

Ryan holds a record in the House for crushing debate. Last year’s
session of Congress saw more closed rules than any in history,
and so far 2018 has been no different. Republicans, whether they
are moderates, ultra-conservatives, or whatever, are not allowed
to offer anything they want to get a vote.

In a
May report
from the House Rules Committee’s Democrats,
lawmakers wrote that “

Democratic and Republican
Members alike have been shut out of the legislative process and
open and deliberative debate has been stifled.”

“Under a closed rule, Members cannot even offer an
amendment to fix a typo, let alone an amendment to make a
difference in someone’s life and under Republican control, no
Member is allowed to offer an amendment on the House floor to
most major bills considered,” the report added. “This Congress,
more than half of the rules reported for debate, fifty-six
percent, have been completely closed and there have been zero
open or modified-open rules.”

Members have been infuriated with process

The strictness of the House Rules Committee, which is under
Ryan’s control, has infuriated members. GOP Rep. Justin Amash

called him
the worst House speaker in the history of
Congress” in terms of process.

Other members and their staff have expressed similar anger.
Several GOP aides have told Business Insider that whether or not
the next speaker is as strict as Ryan will be a major factor in
weighing support for the candidate. 

Adam Brandon, the current president of the conservative
grassroots organization FreedomWorks, told Business Insider that
the frustration among many House Republicans with process is

“So you’ve got this frustration of members that they can’t
offer amendments, which is a problem for them personally, then
you’ve got the committee chairmen that are disempowered, but then
the way that you run this, the whole body is disempowered
really,” he said.

This all factors into the upcoming speaker — or minority leader —
race for Republicans when Ryan retires at the end of the year.

A candidate for speaker, whether it be current Majority Leader
Kevin McCarthy, House Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan, or
whoever, could curry significant favor with the conference by
pledging to give them the chances to actually have a say.

One of Jordan’s selling points, Brandon said, is that he would be
“one of the least effective” speakers in history, but that means
each member would have a voice, where they can make their case
about any issue in the form of an amendment.

“If Jordan does have a shot at being speaker, it’s simply because
people trust him with these process changes,” Brandon said.
“Because they just know who he is. They know he’s going to be
like, ‘Well I don’t agree with your bill, but we’re going to
allow some open rules here to let you actually move your
amendments forward.'”

While Jordan’s bid for speaker, which he
announced last week
, is largely seen as a ploy for some other
position to be given in a compromise, Republicans will have to
contend with what kind of leader they want — and whether that
includes a more open and transparent process.

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