House Freedom Caucus members confirmed that they were not able to reach the 80% threshold required to endorse Paul Ryan for Speaker.
Representative Raul Labrador called it a “supermajority support” for Ryan. “We were not able to reach a consensus” on an official endorsement, he told reporters, but added that “two thirds of the caucus will be voting” for a Ryan speakership.
“If he wants to be speaker, he’s got the votes,” added Representative Mick Mulvaney.
The decision came after several grueling hours, in which members met with Ryan in the Ways and Means Committee this afternoon, and shifted to a caucus-only conference beginning this evening.
In the meeting, Labrador said that members expressed “appreciation” that Ryan took the time to speak with them about concerns. As for Ryan’s controversial demand to make changes to the motion to vacate the chair, Labrador says it wasn’t even discussed. “We rejected that from the beginning.”
Endorsement of the Freedom Caucus, of course, was one of Ryan’s preconditions to seeking the office.
So the big question remains: will he run anyway?