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4 Times Paul Ryan Broke Ranks With GOP

Ryan has earned praise for working across the aisle, but that may hurt him with his own party's most conservative members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan ran for vice president on Mitt Romney’s ticket in 2012, he was known as an Ayn Rand-inspired conservative policy wonk who advocated turning Medicare into a voucher program. A year later, in December 2013, he was heralded as a compromiser for crafting a budget deal with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that averted another government shutdown.  

If Ryan runs for speaker , as many colleagues have urged, he’ll have to negotiate the legacies of both of those reputations. Ryan was elected to Congress in 1998, and since President Barack Obama has been in office, the Wisconsin Republican has supported him 17 percent of the time — slightly less often than the average House Republican, according to CQ's Vote Watch .  

Answers to Come in a Week of GOP Leadership Questions

Ryan may finally answer the question: Will he run for speaker? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans return to the Capitol Tuesday with a set of questions and challenges. The most glaring among them remains: Who will lead them?  

Speaker John A. Boehner has made it clear he will stay, if needed, beyond his scheduled resignation date at the end of the month. Whether that is necessary should become clear this week. Republicans are holding their regularly scheduled first meeting of the week at 9 a.m. Wednesday, the morning after the first votes. But House leadership announced Monday afternoon a special GOP conference meeting for Tuesday at 7 p.m., which means Paul D. Ryan's pending decision about whether to accept the numerous calls he run for speaker may need to be answered first.  

Boehner Preps Sales Pitch on Planned Parenthood, CR

Boehner, R-Ohio, has a lot to consider in the days ahead (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner held court in his office for nearly three hours Thursday, inviting groups of lawmakers in for discussions on how best to defund Planned Parenthood without shutting down the federal government.  

As a long day was winding down, the speaker and his lieutenants worked on a multi-pronged plan to present to fellow Republicans when the Republican Conference gathers Friday morning for a closed-door meeting. Republican leadership aides were noncommittal about what sort of continuing resolution to keep the government open will come to the floor — disinclined, perhaps, to admit they will ultimately have to face the wrath of conservatives and vote on a "clean" stopgap spending bill.  

Heritage Action Dismisses Scalise's Planned Parenthood Strategy

Scalise has suggested budget reconciliation to defund Planned Parenthood. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Heritage Action for America is not impressed with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise's proposal to address conservatives' opposition to Planned Parenthood through a budget reconciliation process instead of a continuing resolution.  

The conservative advocacy group that helped spur the 2013 government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act is, two years later, demanding lawmakers draw a firm line in the sand a second time, insisting members use a "must-pass" bill like a CR as the vehicle for defunding the network of health services and abortion providers. Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler released the following statement Wednesday morning:

Republicans Set to Try Again With Education Overhaul

Kline wants to overhaul K-12 education laws. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In late February, House conservatives were revolting on two different fronts: They didn't want to fund the Department of Homeland Security without language blocking President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration, and they didn't want to replace the No Child Left Behind education law without provisions giving more autonomy to states.  

At that time, GOP leaders opted to focus their energies on preventing a DHS shutdown instead of navigating a sticky whip operation on a non-time sensitive education bill, and so, mid-floor debate, they hit the "pause" button. This week, the bill comes back to the floor in a return leadership hopes will be triumphant.  

Zombie Bank: Why Killing Ex-Im Doesn't Mean It's Dead

Congressional staffers stood below a television monitor on June 3, as Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank, testified before the House Financial Services Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With only hours to go before the Export-Import Bank's charter expires for the first time in its 81-year history, lawmakers who support the agency are pointing fingers at the base of opposition — but not sounding the alarm bells of imminent catastrophe.  

Starting Wednesday, the bank won't be able to extend new loans — but it will still be able to serve out existing contracts. Most members are confident the operation will get reauthorized, some way or another, in the weeks before the month-long August recess and before the funding lapse becomes a real problem. Nobody is quite sure just how they'll pull it off, politically or practically.  

Republicans for the Ex-Im Bank Push for Renewal

Congressional staffers stand below a television monitor during a House committee hearing Wednesday on the Export-Import Bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A group of House Republican lawmakers want to make something clear: Democrats aren't the only ones pushing for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.  

On Wednesday morning, as the House Financial Services Committee convened a hearing on the bank's future, a small group of Republicans joined in a news conference urging their GOP colleagues to take a stronger stand against hardliners in the party who are pushing for the charter's June 30 expiration. "Why are we here?" said Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo. "We have enough problems in this country that we should be dealing with here in Washington, D.C., to come up with this contrived, flavor-of-the-week thing to be against. It's a dreamed-up problem that has spun out of control."  

House Freedom Caucus Lines Up Opposition to Export-Import Bank

Jordan thinks Boehner will keep his word on the Ex-Im bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The room where the House Freedom Caucus frequently convenes is really too small for a group of 30-some-odd congressmen. It's certainly too small for a meeting with more than a dozen speakers and 20 reporters. But, on Tuesday, the oddly shaped room on the fourth floor of the Cannon House Office Building was the site of the conservative group's first news conference — and the HFC might have finally found an issue they can make a name for themselves on: the Export-Import Bank.  

"In the mission statement for the House Freedom Caucus, we have this: 'The goal of the House Freedom Caucus is to give voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them,'" the chairman of the HFC, Jim Jordan of Ohio, said. "One big reason so many Americans think this town has forgotten them is because they see big corporations cozy up to big government to get special deals with their hard earned tax dollars."  

Conservatives Set for Immigration Fight on Defense Bill

Gallego's amendment supporting the rights of undocumented immigrants to serve in the military has been targeted by House conservatives. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee voted 33-30 for an amendment to the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that would encourage the Pentagon to affirm undocumented immigrants should be permitted to serve in the military.  

This week, more than two dozen conservative House Republicans are threatening to derail the must-pass legislation unless that language is removed. In a May 5 letter to Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, 25 GOP lawmakers have asked the Texas Republican to take out the amendment when his panel meets next week to set parameters for floor debate on the NDAA. The amendment in question, introduced in the Armed Services Committee by freshman Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., would not be backed by the force of law; that is, it would not put a specific program in place to grant stays of deportation to undocumented servicemen and women. That objective would actually be accomplished in the so-called ENLIST Act, a bill Rep. Jeff Denham has been pushing since 2013. The California Republican remains determined to see ENLIST come to the floor for a vote, either as standalone legislation or as an amendment to the NDAA.  

Conservative Groups: Let Ex-Im Bank Expire

Hensarling has led efforts to end funding for the Ex-Im Bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Congress approaches a June 30 expiration date on the Export-Import Bank, more than 50 conservative groups wrote to lawmakers Tuesday urging them to oppose its reauthorization.  

"On behalf of our groups and organizations, together representing millions of Americans, we urge you to oppose the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank," the letter begins. "It unfairly hurts domestic companies and risks billions of taxpayer dollars." The letter, signed by Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Action and the Club for Growth, among others, argues that by subsidizing U.S. exports, the Ex-Im Bank "tilts the playing field" in favor of big, politically connected corporations.