Paul Ryan has laid out a series of demands before he'll agree to be House speaker, and one in particular looks a little iffy. Ryan wants the unanimous support of all the major House caucuses, but Politico is skeptical that the 40 or so conservatives who make up the Freedom Caucus—the group that forced out John Boehner—will come around. To gain the group's endorsement, Ryan needs the backing of 80% of its members, and "early signs from the conservatives are they might never get there," says Politico. For one thing, Ryan wants to do away with a rule that would allow a simple majority of the House to remove the speaker, notes the Washington Post, a procedural weapon favored by the group. The conservatives also want to change other House rules to make sure their group has sway, and Ryan is balking, reports the New York Times.
Expect lots more wheeling and dealing before the Friday deadline laid down by Ryan. The other demands—Ryan's full statement at Time—revolve around changing the duties and focus of the job. For example, Ryan has three young kids, and he wants to spend less time fundraising on the weekends all over the country, saying, "I cannot and will not give up my family time." Instead, Ryan would focus on communicating the party message in TV appearances. He also wants to "move from being an opposition party to a proposition party," making the speaker's role a more "visionary" one. "It's not a job I've ever wanted [or] I've ever sought," says Ryan. "I came to the conclusion that this is a very dire moment, not just for Congress, not just for the Republican Party, but for our country. And I think our country is in desperate need of leadership." (Read more Paul Ryan stories.)