US Congress(WASHINGTON) — House Republicans are expected to re-elect House Speaker Paul Ryan and their other top leaders in a closed-door conference vote Tuesday afternoon, as they continue to prepare for a Donald Trump administration and a unified Republican government in January.
While some conservatives have grumbled about Ryan’s leadership and could still vote against him on the House floor in January — when Ryan will need 218 votes (or a majority of all members present or voting) to keep the speaker’s gavel — he will likely cruise to victory. No other Republicans are running against Ryan.
Ryan was under pressure from some Trump supporters and members of the House Freedom Caucus who claimed his rocky relationship with Trump was hurting Republicans’ chances.
But after Trump’s unexpected victory last week, Republicans on Capitol Hill are singing a different tune.
“There’s nothing like winning,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a Freedom Caucus leader who led the effort to oust former House Speaker John Boehner, told CNN Monday that the group’s focus is on the first 100 days of the Trump administration and not the speaker’s race.
In a closed-door leadership forum Monday, no member of the group spoke critically of Ryan, he later told reporters.
Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., a member of the group who predicted Trump’s victory, wants leadership to “articulate a detailed plan” in line with Trump’s vision for the country.
Another Trump supporter, Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., hasn’t decided if he’ll back Ryan in the conference vote, and was among the Republicans to push for the elections to be delayed.
“I’m not saying I’m annoyed, I’d like to talk things over,” he told reporters Monday evening.
For his part, Ryan has lined up squarely behind Trump since his victory last week, which the Wisconsin Republican has called one of the most incredible political accomplishments he’s ever seen.
He said he’s spoken to Trump nearly every day since the election, and continues to work closely with the president-elect’s transition team to prepare for January.
“Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government,” he said to reporters Tuesday morning.
Trump’s economic adviser Stephen Moore met with House GOP whips on Tuesday morning at the Capitol to discuss tax reform, which Trump said is among his top priorities.
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