With signs of Trump backing, Ryan set to be speaker again
WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid signs of support from Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan today moved toward winning approval from House Republicans to keep his job in the coming Congress.
House Democrats, jarred by their meager Election Day gains, seemed less certain about their direction and delayed a vote on whether to keep Rep. Nancy Pelosi as minority leader.
At a private meeting of House GOP lawmakers, Ryan, R-Wis., told them that in a morning conversation with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Pence said he and Trump "are very supportive of the leadership team and are looking forward to working with them," according to Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.
Lummis, a member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus and who's retiring in January, called Ryan's remarks "a validating moment."
Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., another member of the Freedom Caucus, said "Donald Trump controls whether Paul Ryan is the next speaker or not" and said "all the signals we have" are that the president-elect wants Ryan in the job.
Trump's view on whether Ryan should keep his job was potentially decisive because his shockingly successful White House campaign stirred passionate support from many House Republicans' constituents and helped many of them keep their seats.
Whether Trump would back or seek to oust Ryan was initially unclear after a campaign in which Ryan refused to work for his own party's presidential candidate and frequently lambasted his comments about Hispanics and others. Trump returned the fire with caustic tweets about Ryan.
But since Trump's Election Day victory, the president-elect visited Ryan at the Capitol and the two men have spoken frequently.