With all the attention showered on Ryan’s non-interest in running for president, it’s easy to overlook the new speaker’s troubles running the House these days.
Almost six months into the job, Ryan and his top lieutenants face questions about whether the Wisconsin Republican’s tenure atop the House is any more effective that his predecessor, former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Ryan has flattered the House Freedom Caucus and pursued promises to empower rank-and-file Republicans with reforms to how the House operates — yet it’s yielded little in the way of actual results.
Democrats are openly mocking their GOP counterparts, and Republicans grumble — in private so far — that nothing is getting done under Ryan. Like Boehner, Ryan is finding out that becoming speaker is easier than being speaker, at least in the still badly divided House GOP Conference.
The rise of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump — which has shocked GOP leaders on Capitol Hill as much as it has Republican heavyweights nationwide — has also injected more uncertainty into the legislative process.