Crisis is routine in Congress. Lawmakers are barreling toward a 3 November deadline to raise the federal borrowing limit or face an unprecedented government default. There is no plan in sight for averting such a situation.
Furthermore, crucial highway funding authority is about to expire, requiring a short-term extension that no one supports. And December will bring the next chapter in the government shutdown wars, with a deadline for spending legislation providing a ripe opportunity for brinksmanship.
It is all happening amid fierce fighting among Republicans, on Capitol Hill and in the presidential campaign. This is the atmosphere that has produced Paul Ryan’s candidacy for speaker.
If elected Ryan will face immediate and perhaps competing tasks: passing debt and spending bills likely to be opposed by a majority of Republicans, while he attempts to unite a badly fractured House caucus.
Ryan formalized his candidacy for speaker only after winning the support of the three major caucuses in the House GOP: moderate Republicans, mainstream conservatives and hardliners. But his support from the latter group, the Freedom Caucus that pushed Boehner to the exits, will be contingent on making good on promises of changes to House rules and procedures.
Ryan’s speakership will rise or fall largely on whether he can make a sustained peace with the obstreperous group, which has banded together to bring down leadership-backed legislation it opposes or force confrontation on issues like immigration or trade.
Paul Ryan said he had a number of political conditions under which he’d be willing to take the position. One of those conditions was the ability to be a present father and husband: “I cannot and will not give up my family time,” he said, noting that his children are in the “formative, foundational years of their lives”.
People immediately started pointing out after Ryan’s pro-family statement, the policies that Ryan supports as a politician make things incredibly difficult for families, especially poor ones. He’s proposed cuts to child care subsidies and voted against the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act.
Is it outrageous that someone who is unwilling to help average American families wants to protect is own family time? Besides, he’s been given a lot of praise for a statement that no woman has ever been praised for. Ryan's statement is hypocritical and irritating to be sure, and the fact that it has drawn all this attention is even more irritating. Personally I hope that Paul Ryan will have all the time in the world to be present as a father and husband.
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