U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is continuing to say no to the House speaker’s post. The Janesville Republican gave his first rejection just hours after Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation. The Washington Post reports that Boehner asked Ryan on Thursday to change his mind, after apparent front-runner Kevin McCarthy of California withdrew.
Ryan has long said his ultimate goal is to help overhaul tax policies as head of the Ways-and-Means committee. He was appointed to that post almost a year ago. Ryan said he’s disappointed McCarthy didn’t take the speakership, and reiterated that he’s not a candidate.
“Kevin McCarthy is best person to lead the House, and so I’m disappointed in this decision. Now it is important that we, as a Conference, take time to deliberate and seek new candidates for the speakership. While I am grateful for the encouragement I’ve received, I will not be a candidate. I continue to believe I can best serve the country and this conference as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.”
La Crosse Congressman Ron Kind is among the Democrats who wonder if the GOP majority can govern effectively. Kind said McCarthy’s withdrawal opens the door to a Tea Party speaker who would be less likely to work out differences in favor of a “my way or the highway” approach. Kind said such a leader would be “bad for the institution.”