Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Speaker Ryan faces crucial stretch

The Hill by Scott Wong -- 

Paul Ryan is about to enter what could be the most critical month yet of his Speakership.
But by the end of March, what will define success for the wonky Wisconsin Republican?
Despite holding power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Republicans are grappling with intense intraparty divisions over plans to repeal and replace ­ObamaCare, reform the tax code and build a border wall.

It’s a difficult balancing act for the 47-year-old Ryan. As Speaker, he committed to a “bottom-up” approach that empowers committees to draft and mark up these proposals.

But Ryan is also under enormous pressure to notch some major legislative victories for Republicans, meaning he may have to take a more hands-on role in the coming weeks to help whip votes and shepherd some bills to the finish line.
“The Speaker must have at least two substantial legislative initiatives on the president’s desk for signatures by the end of March, or the American people will start to question where Congress is and why they can’t get things done,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), an ally of President Trump. Meadows, chairman of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, is part of Ryan’s team of congressional advisers.
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