“The conference is in open warfare. Paul has run out of juice,” said a senior Republican lawmaker who wants a speaker vote to happen soon and requested anonymity to speak frankly. “It became clear on Friday that it’s time to let go.”

Adding to the awkwardness, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney over the weekend endorsed the idea of Ryan stepping down now and allowing his likely successor, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, to become speaker this year. Procedurally, such a vote would also force Democrats to vote for or against Nancy Pelosi as party leader.

“I’ve talked with Kevin about this privately but not as much publicly,” Mulvaney said at an event hosted by The Weekly Standard. “Wouldn’t it be great to force a Democrat running in a tight race to have to put up or shut up about voting for Nancy Pelosi eight weeks before an election? That’s a really, really good vote for us to force if we can figure out how to do it.”