Nevada Newsmakers

News - March 26, 2018 - by Ray Hagar

By Ray Hagar
Nevada Newsmakers

Nevada's 2nd U.S. House District Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, said on Nevada Newsmakers Monday that Rep. Paul Ryan may soon resign as Speaker of the U.S. House.

Amodei said he was repeating a rumor that's around Capitol Hill.

"The rumor mill is that Paul Ryan is getting ready to resign in the next 30 to 60 days and that Steve Scalise will be the new Speaker," Amodei said.

"Now that is interesting because nobody has talked to members (of the U.S. House) on how they are going to vote (on new leadership)," Amodei said. "Now, maybe they have talked to all of the members but me. I don't know, so that is the rumor mill from last week."

Scalise, from Louisiana's 1st U.S. House District, is currently the House majority whip, responsible for rounding up votes on various bills and issues. In June of 2017, he was shot during practice for the congressional baseball team in Virginia. He survived after being in critical condition and returned to Congress in late September of 2017.

This is not the first time resignation rumors about Ryan, of Wisconsin, have surfaced. Last December, he said he was "soul searching" about his leadership role in the U.S. House.  At the time, he denied the rumors of resignation, saying they were "irresponsible."

When asked why Ryan would resign now, Amodei said that maybe he has accomplished what he set out to do as the U.S. House leader and may want to move on to other challenges.

"I don't know. If I was just guessing, he wanted to do the tax-cut bill,"  Amodei said, referencing the passage in Congress of major tax cuts late last year. "You know, (former Speaker) John Boehner said the thing: 'Hey, I checked all of the boxes I thought were important and I'm moving on to whatever else.'"

Amodei hinted Ryan may be considering running for President or another high office. Ryan has been mentioned as a presidential candidate before, although Trump will be up for re-election in 2020.

"If it, in fact, is true, I know that Paul Ryan thinks he wants to play on the national stage in some capacity or another, so I don't know what that means," Amodei said.

Amodei scoffed at the notion Ryan would got to work in the White House or somewhere else in the Trump administration with a presidential appointment.

"You asked me so I'm going to answer you," Amodei said. "And my speculation is this: The White House and Paul Ryan would probably not be a great fit."

Ryan was recently critical of Trump's planned tariffs for steel and aluminum. He had earlier called Trump's derogatory remarks about immigration from Haiti and some African nations "unhelpful."

The relationship between Ryan and Trump can go hot and cold, Amodei said.

The two also disagreed on the funding of Trump's proposed wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

Trump originally requested $25 billion from Congress to built the wall, according to various reports. Yet only $1.6 billion was appropriated for the wall in the $1.3 trillion Omnibus spending bill from Congress that Trump signed last week. Trump threatened to veto the bill before begrudgingly signing it.

"Paul was a 'Never Trumper' for awhile and then they kind of made up," Amodei said. "Heck, when you talk about the Omnibus (spending) bill, Ryan was down at the White House earlier in the week and I assumed (they were) discussing why there wasn't more (border) Wall money in there, or something like that.

"So I would be very surprised if there were an open-arms (invitation) at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, for a 'come on in to the (Trump) Administration, Mr. Cheese Guy.' "

Shortly after the story was first published, Scalise's office told Politico's congressional reporter Rachel Bade that Scalise "fully supports" Ryan to remain Speaker.

"Scalise is proud to serve alongside Speaker Ryan and fully supports him to remain Speaker," Scalise spokesperson Lauren Fine told Bade, according to Bade's tweets. "Our whole leadership team is focused on working w/ President Trump to deliver more conservative wins for the country & also ensuring we keep the majority so we can continue implementing President Trump's agenda that is getting our economy back on track."