House Freedom Caucus votes to support Paul Ryan for speaker
One day after issuing demands tied to his run for Speaker of the House, Congressman Paul Ryan appears one step closer to the job.
Behind closed doors Tuesday night, more than 70 percent of the House Freedom Caucus voted in favor of the Wisconsin native. However, that is 10 percent short of the requirement for an official endorsement.
"We're sending the message to the conference and to Paul Ryan that he has good support, but we will continue to ask for the changes that we are asking for," said Rep. Raúl Labrador, (R) Idaho.
The development is a huge turnaround from Tuesday morning, when support from the group was uncertain.
Some members were particularly troubled by Ryan's demand to change rules that would make it harder to oust the speaker.
They were also bothered by the fact Ryan said he would travel less if he accepts the job. The Wisconsin Congressman refuses to give up weekend family time with his wife and kids in Janesville.
Some skeptical caucus members say all the stipulations sound like Ryan is trying to gain power instead of serving the membership.
"I don't think the Speakership is a 9-5 job," said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, (R) Kansas. "I've got family and that is why I am not running for speaker or any other position like that. But you've got to work on the weekends."
Congressman Ryan responded to the vote saying, "I'm grateful for the support of a supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus. I look forward to hearing from the other two caucuses by the end of the week, but I believe this is a positive step toward a unified Republican team."
House Republicans are scheduled to vote by secret ballot for speaker Wednesday, Oct. 28. They'll hold a floor vote the next day, where Ryan needs 218 votes to win, if he officially decides to seek the Speakership.