How Paul Ryan conquered the Freedom Caucus

Restructure the powerful House Republican Steering Committee so it better represents the membership? Broadly speaking, it made sense, Ryan told the two-dozen members gathered in his Capitol office suite — and it could happen quite quickly. He never loved the makeup of the panel, anyway.

Ryan, who has headed two committees, also liked their idea of empowering chairmen. He said he would not advance contentious bills without support from a majority of the majority of the House Republican Conference — adhering to the much-talked-about Hastert rule.

Discuss sweeping changes to the House rules? Change the way committee chairs are elected? There are a lot of good ideas, Ryan said, and they all merit a broader conversation with all Republicans. Ryan made it clear that groups like the Freedom Caucus would have a place at the table in Ryan’s speakership; they would have buy-in. The Freedom Caucus was even inclined to support Ryan’s push to overhaul the “motion to vacate,” a rarely invoked procedural mechanism that one of its members used to begin to push John Boehner out of the speakership…

After three ballots around a long table, the group, led by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, did not reach the 80 percent of members needed to deliver Ryan the endorsement he said he needed to run. One source said there were nine “no” votes, another said 11. Either way, from 27 to 29 members of the Freedom Caucus were firmly behind Ryan — about 70 percent. An official statement said “a supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus has voted to support” Ryan.