And it is clear the conservative lawmakers will insist on more specifics from Ryan before they would consider an endorsement. Sources within the caucus said he’ll have to discuss policy and procedural changes the Freedom Caucus wants and offer up tangible promises to decentralize power from leadership to rank-and-file members if he wants their backing.
Without specific pledges, those sources said, Ryan will have a hard time clinching the backing of 80 percent of the group’s members — its threshold for an endorsement.
“I got the sense that Paul Ryan was not willing to look at rule changes before October 29, and without that I don’t see him getting 80 percent,” one Freedom Caucus member said, referring to the expected date of the election for speaker.
The Freedom Caucus has until Friday to decide if it will back Ryan. Several of the Freedom Caucus’ most influential members huddled in the office of Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), the group’s chairman, late Tuesday night. And board members of the conservative organization will meet Wednesday to discuss Ryan’s conditions.