Freedom Caucus Won't Formally Endorse Ryan

But caucus leaders say they have 'super-majority'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2015 1:20 AM CDT
Freedom Caucus Won't Formally Endorse Ryan
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday following meetings with House Republican leaders and the Freedom Caucus members.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Paul Ryan hasn't been able to secure one of his key demands for running for House speaker, but he has decided he has come close enough. Ryan failed to gain the formal endorsement of the powerful House Freedom Caucus, though the group told him it had a "super-majority" or around two-thirds in favor, reports Politico. A formal endorsement would have required the support of 80% of the group's members, which caucus board member Raul Labrador says was impossible to reach despite "some consensus that it's time for us to move forward." The caucus, which held a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, is believed to have around 40 members.

Ryan now appears certain to become the next House speaker. After the House Freedom Caucus vote, he signaled he would go ahead with the bid, issuing a statement saying: "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." The caucus had earlier endorsed Daniel Webster for speaker, and caucus co-founder Justin Amash says that endorsement still stands, despite what he calls a "statement of support" for Ryan, the Hill reports. (Some caucus members picked Webster over John Boehner at the start of this Congress in the biggest rebellion against a House speaker in more than 150 years.)

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