The Corner

Bill Flores Tests Waters on a Run for Speaker

Bill Flores on Wednesday sent a ‘Dear Colleague’ e-mail to fellow Republican members of congress, expressing his interest in a run for Speaker — but only if Paul Ryan decides to pass on a bid.

Flores was first reported to be mulling a run for Speaker earlier this week. In the e-mail, obtained by National Review, Flores writes he is giving thought to a bid because “many of you have asked me to consider serving as Speaker of the House.”

“It is important for me to unequivocally state, however, that I will not run for this position should Chairman Ryan elect to run,” he adds.

Flores knocks the president as “routinely [disregarding] the Constitution, the established law of the land, and the will of the people,” and derides the Senate for putting “its 19th century processes, e.g. the filibuster rules, ahead of carryout out its Article I responsibilities during these critical times,” saying this puts lots of pressure on the House. “Unfortunately,” he writes, “our internal divisions have hurt our effectiveness in fulfilling those roles for our country.”

The United States of America currently faces a number of significant challenges. At home, we have a President who routinely disregards the Constitution, the established law of the land, and the will of the people. In addition, the federal government’s fiscal situation is a nightmare, and the White House’s economic policies inhibit economic growth and hurt American families. Abroad, we face a world that no longer respects America as evidenced by the rise of a resurgent Russia, the expansionist policies of China, the growth of terrorist groups like the Islamic State, and the nuclear ambitions of Iran. These challenges, combined with a shrinking U.S. military, have caused our closest allies like Israel to question our resolve and our commitments.

The foregoing challenges, combined with a Senate that places its 19th century processes, e.g. the filibuster rules, ahead of carrying out its Article I responsibilities during these critical times, have left the GOP Conference of the House of Representatives as the sole Constitutional advocate for economic growth, fiscal responsibility, national security, American values, and Constitutionally limited government. Unfortunately, our internal divisions have hurt our effectiveness in fulfilling those roles for our country.

It is imperative that we bridge our differences, develop a common vision based upon bold principles, unite behind that common vision, and execute the Member driven processes to effect that vision on behalf of the American people. One of the critical steps to do this is to elect a Speaker of the House to lead us to fulfill these goals. House Republicans should elect a Speaker that is able to unite the Conference in order to effectively address these challenges. We can achieve a unified and successful House GOP when Members recognize (i) the desires and needs of our fellow colleagues to successfully serve their respective districts, (ii) the value of pursuing the best achievable outcomes as exemplified by the policy successes of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, and (iii) the strength that comes through unity with our House GOP sisters and brothers. While each of us desires to achieve all of our individual goals, we must also recognize that a measured approach is sometimes necessary for the Conference as a whole to be successful. Moreover, we should develop rules that encourage all Members to be fully empowered in the House’ legislative processes.

Flores asks his colleagues to contact him to discuss his prospective bid.

House Republicans, since last week, have been pressuring Ryan to seek the top job, calling him the best person to unite the conference. Ryan has not yet announced a decision.

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