Conservatives say he’s stayed true to the conference in refusing to commit the House to voting on a bipartisan Senate immigration deal that might divide their own ranks, as Senate Democrats have demanded. Even moderate Republicans who desperately want to shield 700,000 young immigrants from deportation say the speaker has strengthened the party’s leverage in the long run.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.), who’s never been shy about pushing Ryan to tack further right, said his leadership of the conference during the shutdown has “created unity” unlike he’s ever seen in the often divisive GOP conference.
“It’s one of the few times in the three-plus years I’ve been here that it’s legitimate: The guys here are together on our position that we’re not negotiating. We’ve done our work,” Walker said.