It was a job he did not want, but now House Speaker Paul Ryan says he recognizes “it is an honor” to lead the Republican conference. And he’s planning to do things very differently than former Speaker John Boehner once did.
“Instead of having leadership predetermine, pre-negotiate and pre-decide how things are going to go, I wanted to invite our members to discuss how we move forward,” Ryan said.
While the honeymoon period may be brief as a funding deadline approaches on Dec. 11, Ryan spoke to reporters Thursday in his first solo press conference and made it clear that he does plan to stick to his campaign promise to restore regular order to the House of Representatives. That is, at least for now.
President Obama signed legislation setting an overall government-spending total for the next two years, but Ryan still must shepherd his conference through a tumultuous process to set detailed funding priorities.
“Normally we wouldn’t be talking about this yet—it’s November,” Ryan quipped, in reference to the old leadership’s tendency to push funding battles to the deadlines.
If Ryan, the White House, and the Senate cannot see eye to eye, the government could still shut down in mid-December. Ryan has already begun discussions with his conference about how to tackle the upcoming deadline. The House has passed six appropriations bills so far, and Ryan announced Thursday that Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers will conduct a series of executive meetings with Republicans on how to tackle the remaining funding bills for the rest of the year.