Jan 15, 2016 by


WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21:  U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) leaves after a House Republican Conference meeting October 20, 2015 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Rep. Ryan said he is open to run for speaker if House GOPs will unify behind him.  (Photo by Ale

They ousted one House Speaker, John Boehner, and now the House problem children want to make sure that the new one, Paul Ryan, remembers that. They’re plotting their course to complete their takeover of the House and dramatically change government.

“I’m hoping for something bold. Not only from the leadership but from the larger conference,” said Rep. MickMulvaney (R-S.C.). “The leadership cannot go bold if the conference does not want to follow, and the conference isn’t going to want to go bold if the leadership doesn’t want to lead the charge.”For starters, caucus members say they intend to keep a close watch in 2016 on whether Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) follows through on his promise to create a bottom-up leadership structure, including delegating more power to committees.

Beyond that, House Freedom Caucus members said in interviews this week, the group wants to see welfare reform passed via the majority-vote procedure known as reconciliation. It’s pushing for a health care alternative to Obamacare and a vote on that plan, after GOP leaders indicated votes on big policy items would be avoided this year. The group is agitating for tax reform legislation, too.

Of course, pushing big policy changes like Obamacare replacement, welfare reform, or tax reform means actually having real proposals with legislative language, and that’s been just a little bit of a problem for them. In fact, Republicans haven’t been able to actually create a new policy in whole since they took over the House in 2010. The only thing they’ve really managed to do is shutdown government and have votes to undo things. They’ve gotten pretty darned good at that, and at making life miserable for pretty much everyone, but especially leadership.

They do, however, have an ally in Ryan in wanting to radically change domestic policy to punish the poor to the fullest extent. So when they’re talking about using reconciliation—which requires only a majority vote in the Senate—to do that, you’ve got to worry that it’s something Ryan would go along with. He also wants to pass spending bills for 2017 as soon as possible, and knowing what kind of policy riders they tried to get into the last one, there’s no end to the mischief they’ll get up to to make sure we can’t ever have any nice things.

There’s always the Senate, though, and when the problem children and Paul Ryan once again hit that barrier, once again they’ll blame it all on Ryan, just like they did with Boehner. They’re already telling us that’s how it’s going to play out. Ryan is doing his level best to demonstrate he can be as much of an Obama-hating prick as they are, but when he can’t give them everything they want, they’ll turn on him. And the Congress will continue to be an unproductive mess.


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