speaker race

Ryan: 'No Idea' How Long I'll Be Speaker

Ryan addresses the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, after two weeks on the job, said he has “no idea” how long he may lead the House, committing only to the 14 months left in the current Congress during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”  

No matter the duration of his tenure, the Wisconsin Republican told Scott Pelley of CBS News he is willing to risk losing the job in pursuit of major policy initiatives including tax and entitlement overhauls. The speaker also said in the interview that aired Sunday he and President Barack Obama could find common ground on select issues.  

Democrats Predict Same Pitfalls for a Speaker Ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has laid out his terms and is now running for speaker of the House. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats on both sides of the Rotunda see Paul D. Ryan as a reliable legislator, but someone likely to face the same pitfalls as his predecessor if elected speaker.  

As the Wisconsin Republican spent Wednesday reaching out to the various factions of the House GOP conference, Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said in a brief interview there were many aspects of Ryan's background he feels "good about." He cited the 2013 budget agreement with Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and a 2013 appearance in Chicago with Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., in support of an immigration overhaul , saying the latter "showed more courage than most people in the House Republican caucus." Durbin said it was too soon to tell what kinds of policies Ryan, now chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, would pursue as speaker, but he expects "to see some conservative suggestions that I might not agree with."