House Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokeswoman put out a very blunt statement in response to an obscure Nevada Republican suggesting he was on his way out.
‘The speaker is not resigning,’ Press Secretary AshLee Strong told the Washington Post.
Rep. Mark Amodei said on the Nevada Newsmakers program that ‘the rumor mill is that Paul Ryan is getting ready to resign in the next 30 to 60 days and that Steve Scalise will be the new speaker.’
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan said that he is ‘not resigning’ in response to a Nevada Republican saying that he had heard a rumor that Ryan would soon be out
Rep. Mark Amodei made waves when he went on the Nevada Newsmakers program and repeated a ‘rumor’ that he said he heard on Capitol Hill
Nevada Representative Mark Amodei told a local news station that there is a ‘rumor’ that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (left) could soon be resigning and will be replaced by Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise (right)
‘Now that is interesting because nobody has talked to members on how they are going to vote [on leadership],’ the congressman continued. ‘Now, maybe they have talked to all of the members but me. I don’t know, so that is the rumor mill from last week.’
When Amodei was asked why Ryan would resign now – which would be politically problematic for the GOP already rattled by the slew of Congressional retirements – Amodei suggested it would be because the Wisconsin Republican has achieved his long-sought goals.
‘If I was just guessing, he wanted to do the tax bill,’ Amodei said.
Ryan was successful in ushering the massive tax bill through the House, which President Trump signed into law in December.
‘You know John Boehner said the same thing: “Hey, when I checked all of the boxes I thought were important and I’m moving on to whatever else,”‘ the Nevada Republican said.
Boehner, the Republican lawmaker who served as speaker before Ryan, quit the job the day after Pope Francis visited Capitol Hill.
For Boehner, a devout Catholic, his work there was done.
Amodei floated that Ryan could run for president in 2020, despite President Trump, who’s also a Republican, already announcing his re-election bid.
‘If it, in fact, is true, I know that Paul Ryan thinks he wants to play on the national stage in some capacity or another, so I don’t know what that means,’ Amodei said.
Before becoming speaker, Ryan had been tapped in 2012 to be GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate.
However, the congressman’s office stressed that Amodei was just stating a ‘rumor he had heard.’
‘His response to the question was made explicitly in the context of a rumor, nothing else,’ Amodei’s Communications Director Logan Ramsey said.
Scalise is currently the House majority whip and rose to fame after he was shot in June 2017 during practice for the congressional baseball game in Virginia.
After being listed in critical condition, he recovered and returned to Congress in September 2017.
However his office denied he is in contention to replace Ryan and said his priorities are elsewhere.
‘Whip Scalise is proud to serve alongside Speaker Ryan and fully supports him to remain Speaker,’ said Lauren Fine, Scalise’s spokeswoman.
‘Our whole leadership team is focused on working with President Trump to deliver more conservative wins for the country, and also ensuring we keep the majority so we can continue implementing President Trump’s agenda that is getting our economy back on track,’ Fine said.
The ‘rumor’ also didn’t take into account that Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican and the party’s No. 2 in the House, would be next in line for the job of speaker if the GOP retains the House.
Then again, McCarthy, a close ally of Trump’s, was already passed over for the job once, when he found himself involved in a mini-scandal for suggesting the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s job was to undermine former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.