Thursday, April 26, 2018
Politics

Paul Ryan consolidates support for House speaker bid (w/video)

Rep. Paul Ryan said Thursday he would seek to become House speaker after key GOP factions pledged their support, ending two weeks of drama and doubt about the Wisconsin Republican's intentions.

"After talking with so many of you, and hearing your words of encouragement, I believe we are ready to move forward as a one, united team," he told colleagues in a letter. "And I am ready and eager to be our speaker."

The announcement leaves little doubt it will be Ryan, 45, who takes the gavel from outgoing Speaker John Boehner when he leaves office next week. Boehner on Wednesday set the vote on his successor for Oct. 29, a day before he intends to resign.

Ryan's decision came after a week's contemplation with his family in Wisconsin, followed by a 48-hour frenzy of meetings and conversations with colleagues about his possible ascension to the top job.

The climax came Thursday when the Tuesday Group of GOP moderates backed Ryan by acclamation in a morning meeting, then the conservative Republican Study Committee announced its endorsement in the afternoon.

"I am confident that he is the right person to lead the House going forward," RSC Chairman Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, said in a statement that followed what he called an "overwhelming" vote of the group's steering committee. "He has the policy expertise, conservative principles and strong values we need in our next Speaker."

Ryan requested both endorsements as part of a three-pronged test of GOP unity he laid out before he would formally agree to serve as speaker. The third prong — the hard-line House Freedom Caucus — said Wednesday night Ryan had "supermajority" support in its ranks.

In his letter, Ryan signaled to House conservatives, many of whom have raised questions about the way the House is managed, that he would work closely with them to revise internal rules: "We can make the House a more open and inclusive body — one where every member can contribute to the legislative process."

He also hinted at some legislative priorities, including tax reform, his bailiwick as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and poverty, which has become a concentration of Ryan's since his 2012 vice president run.

Ryan's announcement late Thursday marked the possible beginning of the end for a tumultuous leadership contest that began last month with Boehner's resignation.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who dropped out of the speaker's race on Oct. 8, said he thought Ryan was in "very strong shape" to secure the job.

Asked why during House votes on Thursday afternoon, McCarthy quipped: "Because when I ran, 80 percent of the Freedom Caucus was against me, and now they're not" against Ryan.

There are still signs the hard right could complicate life for a Speaker Ryan. The Freedom Caucus stopped short of granting Ryan a formal endorsement, which would have required an 80 percent vote of the roughly 40-member group. And anti-establishment conservative activists continued to lambaste Ryan.

Comments
Trump says Cohen represented him in

Trump says Cohen represented him in "Stormy Daniels deal"

President Donald Trump acknowledged Thursday for the first time that his longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen represented him in efforts to silence Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who has alleged a sexual encounter with Trump more than a de...
Updated: 2 hours ago
HUD Secretary proposes raising rent for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies

HUD Secretary proposes raising rent for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies

WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson proposed far-reaching changes to federal housing subsidies Wednesday, tripling rent for the poorest households and making it easier for housing authorities to impose work requirements.Ca...
Updated: 2 hours ago
VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

WASHINGTON — White House physician Ronny Jackson has grown frustrated with the nomination process to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs and has told colleagues he may remove his name from consideration, two White House officials with knowledge o...
Published: 04/25/18
Sessions defends Trump pardons of Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby

Sessions defends Trump pardons of Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump’s right to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Bush administration official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Both pardons were issued by Trump and bypassed the ...
Published: 04/25/18
Seniors support ‘grandchildren’ with gun-control rally in Sun City Center

Seniors support ‘grandchildren’ with gun-control rally in Sun City Center

SUN CITY CENTER — Millions of women marched on Washington. Thousands of teenagers rallied in Tallahassee and Tampa Bay.And in Sun City Center, nearly 150 seniors held a demonstration for gun control on April 21, offering a simple but poignant message...
Published: 04/25/18

Sean Hannity, a Trump defender, under scrutiny for real estate deals

Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS)ATLANTA — On his Fox News program last summer, Sean Hannity effused praise for his guest, U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson. "I know you have done a good job," Hannity said. "You are a good man."Carson’s presence gav...
Published: 04/23/18
Having Cuba in the name of your company can be a financial risk and there is no solution

Having Cuba in the name of your company can be a financial risk and there is no solution

With the third largest Cuban American population, Cuba’s culture is celebrated throughout the Tampa Bay area and in a diversity of ways.Flags hang in homes, fashion is worn, music performed, food served.But be wary of honoring that heritage by puttin...
Published: 04/23/18
Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

WEST PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings. Trump, in a series of tweets fired from Florida o...
Published: 04/21/18

Vive la France: Trump hosts glitzy White House state dinner

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Donald Trump’s turn to pull off the ultimate charm offensive. Wined and dined on multiple state visits during his tour of Asia last year, Trump is paying it forward and celebrating nearly 250 years of U.S.-French relat...
Published: 04/21/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe that’s just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18