EJ DIONNE, JR.: Paul Ryan personifies decline of conservatism

EJ DIONNE, JR.: Paul Ryan personifies decline of conservatism

Additional household Republicans assert that Ryan's announced retirement, after roughly 2 years Congress, would reduce his ability to boost funds - a action that yields millions of dollars for GOP candidates.

"Sometimes when someone is leaving they become more bold and not less", Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), head of the arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters.

"Bad idea", said Republican Representative Charlie Dent. He did not discuss any particular reform details, but the speaker said he discussed Medicare reform with President Donald Trump and has pushed to partially privatize Medicare. He will likely compete with Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

House Republicans tend to replace their leaders after disappointing elections, though in this case much of the blame should fall to Trump. It will also formally set of a frenzy for the role of House Republican leader, which given the current state of the 2018 map may be a race for speaker - or minority leader.

Costello, Mast and most other Republicans stuck to their message in the hallways of Congress Wednesday morning, but speaking on background and away from cameras, many GOP lawmakers expressed concerns.

It is indicative of Trump's impact on the Republican Party that Ryan, the vice presidential nominee in 2012, now faces an uncertain political future only two years after being considered a rising star.

"I'm grateful for the president to give us this chance to actually get this stuff done", Ryan told reporters Wednesday. "It's hard to imagine a next Congressman", said Andrew Iverson, Chairman of the Republican Party of Rock County.

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A top GOP fundraiser, Eric Tanenblatt, said he expects Ryan to remain a force in a tough cycle. Although the speaker said he did not expect that to be decided until after the election, Green said that "if someone is even remotely ambitious, they will start counting [their] votes now".

Ryan cultivated a false image as a hero to average Americans when in fact he serves the interest of the powerful and the wealthy.

Some potential Republican contenders for his seat include Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Ryan Vos and Bryan Steil, a member of the Board of Regents, according to Wisconsin Republican sources.

Democrat Randy Bryce, a colorful ironworker who has cultivated an "IronStache" moniker, had been Ryan's best-known challenger, drawing liberal support from around the country. Janesville teacher Cathy Myers has also been running on the Democratic side.

In Washington, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Ryan's tenure, and the Democratic leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, said she hoped Ryan would work constructively on bipartisan goals before he leaves. Brendan Buck, counselor to the speaker, said Ryan would "run through the tape" by fundraising for other conservatives and passing legislation.

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