The fragile marriage of Ryan and the Freedom Caucus

One of Rep. Paul Ryan’s conditions for running for House speaker was that he wanted to reform the “motion to vacate,” a rarely-invoked legislative tool that’s essentially a way to boot the speaker from his job.

His pitch didn’t go over well with the House Freedom Caucus, the group of 40 conservatives that helped drive John Boehner to the Capitol exits, including with threats of using it. They were reluctant, to put it mildly, to relinquish one of their most potent weapons without proof that Ryan would agree to other demands they had of the next speaker.

In the end, the two sides have reached a temporary détente, which will allow Paul to become speaker under most of the terms he set — and the Freedom Caucus to hold out the possibility of serious turbulence for Ryan later if he doesn’t deliver on his less-than-concrete assurances.