WASHINGTON (AP) – House Republicans return to Washington this week to confront a nearly unprecedented leadership crisis, looming budget deadlines and a deeply uncertain future.
Attention is focused on Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee. He’s under pressure from party leaders to run for House speaker. That’s a job he’s repeatedly made clear he doesn’t want.
Even if Ryan yields to his colleagues’ pleas, conservatives are increasingly serving notice that the 45-year-old Ways and Means Committee chairman will have to audition for the job just like anyone else – despite the widespread support he has.
That suggests that the same hard-liners who pushed current Speaker John Boehner to announce his resignation and scared off his heir apparent, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, could throw up obstacles to Ryan, too.