After weeks of uncertainty, the House of Representatives elected Paul Ryan to replace John Boehner as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The importance of the role of the Speaker has been the focus of a number of earlier blog posts, so instead it is worth evaluating Ryan’s ideology and his plans for this role.
He is a socially and fiscally conservative Republican who has been highly critical of Obama and Obamacare in his past. This puts him probably to the right of John Boehner within the Republican Party but to the left of the likes of Ted Cruz. This may be a useful ideological position and allow Ryan to unify the Party, especially with Boehner leaving a fractured party within which the extreme right wing of the Party were becoming increasingly difficult to control. This certainly seems to be the case with only 9 Republicans not voting for Ryan in the Speaker election.
There is also an interesting article (linked above) regarding the predicted impact that this election will have on lobbying in US politics. The study of K Street lobbyists and interest groups is crucial to Unit 3 and whilst Boehner was happy to ‘schmooze’ K Street lobbyists many of the issues that were important to them were stuck in the congressional gridlock of recent years. They are more hopeful then that Ryan will be able to free up some of this gridlock and allow issues that are important to them to move through Congress more freely.
Certainly, he is starting out with positive language – “But let’s be frank. The House is broken. We’re not solving problems, we’re adding to them. And I’m not interested in laying blame. We’re not settling scores, we’re wiping the slate clean.”