According to a new report, President Trump is considering launching a coup against Speaker Paul Ryan prior to his official retirement from the House. There is a House Republican plan to replace Ryan with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. President Trump has allegedly been briefed on the plan and “believes there is merit to the plan, but has not formed a final position.”
Paul Ryan has already announced that he will step down from the Speaker’s role in January. But there is a growing movement to make a change much sooner.
“Proponents say that the benefits are twofold. It would trigger a vote to replace Ryan, giving McCarthy an opening to become speaker of the House — that is, if he can avoid crashing and burning on takeoff like he did in 2015. But it would also force Democrats to cast votes for — or against — Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a favorite target of Republican campaign strategists, to be speaker. That vote could then be used against vulnerable Democrats during the height of campaign season, the source said.
“Under the plan, Ryan would step down from his post as speaker prematurely but would remain a member of Congress until his term ends in January 2019. The prospect of Ryan’s right-hand man amping up the pressure for him to leave sooner portends a significant shift in the power dynamics of the chamber. A spokesperson for Ryan declined to comment. McCarthy responded in a statement provided to TWS: ‘Completely untrue. Paul has my total support. Together we are completely focused on our agenda and traveling the country to take our unified message and action to the voters in November.’”
Paul Ryan has also denied that he will leave office earlier than he has already announced. But others insist that cementing the GOP leadership prior to November elections would help form a cohesive campaign message.
McCarthy is the frontrunner to replace Ryan anyway, although Rep. Jim Jordan is almost certain to run, and he’s already trying to assuage conservative fears. He unsuccessfully ran in 2015 and lost, in part, because conservatives felt he was too liberal. This time he has tried to position himself to the right of Ryan on many issues, including DACA:
“The two hold vastly different opinions about how to approach the DACA debate in the House. While Ryan has repeatedly said he would like to find a solution to the issue — recently saying he wants to vote on an immigration measure before the election — McCarthy is far more skeptical about the political benefits of doing so. During a Republican conference meeting last week, he told members that ‘If you want to depress [GOP voter] intensity, this is the No. 1 way to do it,’ Politico’s Rachael Bade reported.
“That argument highlights the difference in their leadership styles, with Ryan more policy-focused and McCarthy more interested in politics. Right now, the speaker’s race is more of a shadow campaign to win favor from the conference — ‘This is the time of the year where I get all the area codes I’ve never seen before on my phone,’ Kentucky Republican Thomas Massie quipped — but members are having heated conversations about who they want to lead the party.
Killing DACA would go a long way for the Republican base.