Speaker of the House Paul Ryan would not commit to staying on as Speaker past 2016 when queried about the possibility, but asserted that the House will immediately vote to defund both Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare when Congress returns from its winter break. Whether or not the conservative base should believe him is another story.
On Sunday, Ryan told Meet the Press, “I just haven’t been thinking about it. I stepped into the breach, stepped up when I had a duty and an obligation to do so. I’m excited about the potential. I’m excited about the opportunity. I feel blessed and honored to have this position.”
Of his defunding projects, Ryan added, “We will be able to get that on the president’s desk, because we found a way to get around the filibuster in the Senate. So we are more effective in our ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood policy, to zero those out. And that’s going to the president’s desk.”
Answering criticism of his supervision of the passage of the $1.1 trillion omnibus bill, Ryan protested, “I don’t like the process, but it is the process I inherited. Everybody knows that I walked into the Speakership seven weeks ago with this process already in place, with its cake already baked.”
Ryan continued, "I went to work to make the best of this process to get some good wins for conservatives, like lifting the oil export ban for the first time in 40 years. Getting permanency on tax policy. Getting some good riders about the IRS so the IRS can’t meddle in politics. So those are some wins we did get. But the point I would say is this is a process I inherited."
The question Ryan will have to ultimately answer is whether conservatives should believe his protestations of faith vis-à-vis conservative goals. As Rush Limbaugh noted, the conservative base gave the GOP huge victories in 2010 and 2014, and the GOP responded with a supine capitulation to Democrats’ spending plans. Limbaugh asserted of the omnibus bill, “This was out-and-out, in-our-face lying, from the campaigns to individual statements made about the philosophical approach Republicans had to all this spending.”
Breitbart News echoed, “Ryan’s Omnibus Fully Funds DACA … Funds Sanctuary Cities … Funds All Refugee Programs … Funds All of the Mideast Immigration Programs That Have Been Exploited by Terrorists in Recent Years … Funds Illegal Alien Resettlement… Funds the Release of Criminal Aliens … Quadruples H-2B Foreign Worker Visas.”
National Review succinctly stated, “What were Republican leaders thinking?”
Jazz Shaw of hotair.com, stunned, said,, “I don’t know what happened on Tuesday night. Frankly, I’m still trying to get the number of the truck that hit us.”
Ryan has lost enormous credibility with the conservative base. Only a dedicated effort to satisfying conservative goals will win them back.
If he cares.