Paul Ryan

Ryan ready to alter repeal plan, but in which direction?

Featured image Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged today that his health-care proposal must change to pass the House, and said he is prepared to change it. As the Washington Post points out, this seems like a departure from Ryan’s earlier position that his proposal presented lawmakers with a “binary choice” and could not be altered significantly. According to the Post, Ryan did not say what changes to his plan are under consideration. Nor »

The limits of Speaker Ryan’s high-mindedness

Featured image Yesterday’s CBO report on the House GOP Obamacare replacement plan caused me to wonder: What kind of a political party front-loads reform legislation with pain — in this case, higher premiums — and backloads it with benefits — here, lower premiums and budgetary savings? The answer is, a political party led by Paul Ryan. The Speaker believes in legislating to fix problems in the long-term and, while waiting for the »

The parliamentarian dodge

Featured image I wrote here about how congressional Republicans are subscribing to the view that key parts of Obamacare cannot be repealed through “reconciliation” — i.e., without 60 votes. This view holds that the GOP cannot repeal the price-hiking, competition-destroying regulations that form the core of Obamacare because the parliamentarian, pursuant to the Byrd Rule, won’t allow such repeal through the budget reconciliation process. I took issue with that view. First, the »

Speaker Ryan vastly overstates his case

Featured image Speaker Paul Ryan says his proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare is “what good conservative healthcare reform looks like.” He adds: It repeals Obamacare’s taxes; it repeals Obamacare’s spending; it repeals Obamacare’s mandates. It creates a vibrant market where insurance companies compete for your business. Where you have lower costs, more choices, and greater control over your healthcare. And it returns power—this is most important—this returns power from Washington back »

The future of Paul Ryan’s speakership

Featured image The Washington Post claims that Speaker Paul Ryan “is on the verge of a reckoning with House conservatives that threatens to end his speakership and extinguish his future as a national political leader.” Post reporters Kelsey Snell and Mike DeBonis say that, given the likelihood of an enhanced presence of Democrats in the new House, it might take less than one-third of the 40-member House Freedom Caucus to end Ryan’s »

The Trump-Ryan fight is a good thing

Featured image Ever since Speaker Ryan declined to appear with Donald Trump after the Billy Bush tape became public, Trump has been attacking Ryan. His latest claim is that Ryan has backed away from Trump in order to facilitate a 2020 presidential bid. The claim is absurd. Ryan backed Trump for months when it looked like Trump might win. Now that it’s almost certain Trump won’t win, Ryan doesn’t improve his presidential »

Escapism anyone? A look at 2020

Featured image Assuming that Donald Trump loses this year’s presidential race, who is likely to be the GOP nominee in 2020? The FiveThirtyEight crew takes a stab at this question (as well as the Democrats’ side of the equation). The discussion is too snarky and anti-Republican for my taste, but worthwhile nonetheless. Here (in no special order) are the six Republicans I consider most likely to be the nominee in four year: »

Paul Ryan easily wins his primary

Featured image Speaker Paul Ryan crushed his Republican primary opponent Paul Nehlenn today. Ryan received around 85 percent of the vote, according to Politico. Ryan, of course, had all the advantages. His opponent was an unknown whom Ryan (gutlessly, it seems to me) refused to debate. In addition, Ryan was able to pour more than $600,000 into television advertising in the past month. He even obtained Donald Trump’s endorsement in the end. »

George Will’s unfair attack on Paul Ryan [UPDATED]

Featured image George Will has lashed out at Speaker Paul Ryan for endorsing Donald Trump. Ryan says he endorsed Trump because he thinks a Trump presidency would be better for Ryan’s House policy agenda than would a Clinton presidency. Ryan is almost certainly right about this. However, Will finds it insufficient reason for Ryan to support Trump. He dismisses Ryan’s thinking this way: In Robert Bolt’s play “A Man for All Seasons,” »

Paul Ryan is wrong about Trump’s attack on the judge

Featured image Speaker Paul Ryan said today that Donald Trump’s attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel constituted “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Ryan made this comment in the Anacostia neighborhood of Southeast Washington, D.C. Ryan thus had two reasons to label Trump’s remark “racist.” By doing so, he could pander to his African-American audience and position himself, in the event Trump loses, to say he called Trump out. But Ryan is »

Paul Ryan endorses Donald Trump

Featured image House Speaker Paul Ryan says he will vote for Donald Trump in November. Ryan says he will do so because he “feel[s] confident [Trump] would help us turn the ideas in [the Republican House] agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives. This is an endorsement. Ryan isn’t going to vote for Trump merely because he’s the GOP nominee or because he is marginally less bad than Hillary Clinton. No. »

The dilemma Trump poses

Featured image Michael Gerson’s latest column attacking Donald Trump bemoans the fact that Marco Rubio has endorsed the tycoon and the prospect that Paul Ryan soon may do so. More on that later. The passage from Gerson that caught my eye is this one: Here is the problem in sum: Republicans have not been given the option of choosing the lesser of two evils. The GOP has selected someone who is unfit »

Senate Republicans block Lee Amendment, preserve AFFH

Featured image The Lee Amendment to defund President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation failed in the Senate yesterday because not enough Republicans backed it. The Amendment was tabled by a vote of 60-37. Jeremy Carl aptly describes this vote as a defeat for conservatism, community control, and common sense. It is a victory, as Carl says, for turning the federal government into a National Zoning board, forcing high density housing »

Not yet

Featured image Heading into the Cedar Cultural Center over in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis in December 2009, I found myself entering with the evening’s featured attraction. John Sebastian was the star performing along with mandolin virtuoso David Grisman; they were appearing together in Minneapolis on the first stop of a too-short tour in support of their 2007 disc Satisfied. I shook hands with Sebastian and asked him if he remembered »

Ryan in Jerusalem

Featured image Times of Israel editor David Horovitz sat down with Paul Ryan on Sunday evening in Jerusalem for an interview (at the David Citadel Hotel, I think). David introduces the interview this way: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mitt Romney’s 2012 running mate, and the Republican Who Didn’t Run for the Presidency this time — broadly holds to the principle of not being too critical of the US government when »

Scott Walker endorses Ted Cruz [UPDATED]

Featured image With the Wisconsin primary fast approaching, Gov. Scott Walker yesterday endorsed Ted Cruz. He will campaign for, and with, Cruz in the coming days. Endorsements of non-Trump candidates by leading state figures haven’t tended to slow Donald Trump in the past. In South Carolina, for example, endorsements by Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott boosted Marco Rubio in relation to the other also-rans, but failed to prevent Trump from »

Paul Ryan to push for Obama’s legacy “jail break” agenda

Featured image Paul Ryan has made it clear that he considers himself the Republican Party’s “shadow nominee” for president. As such, he’s trying to lock the contenders for the real nomination into positions he favors — positions that, in some cases, are out-of-step with those advocated by the GOP frontrunners and difficult to reconcile with conservatism as we have long known it. This, it seems to me, was the purpose of Ryan’s »