Charisma Caucus

This Group Is Steaming Mad at Paul Ryan

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is getting a lot of angry feedback from conservatives nationally and in his home state over the passage of the omnibus spending bill earlier this month. An effort to find a primary challenger is underway in Wisconsin. (Reuters photo)

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has only been on the job a few months, and there's already a push within the grassroots of the Republican Party to see him go the way of his predecessor.

Former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) stepped down after outrage over his refusal to stick up for priorities grass-roots conservatives felt were most important. He then steamrolled conservative members of Congress to pass legislation that outraged their constituents.

Following passage of the omnibus spending bill earlier this month, it appears Ryan may be on a fast track to the same fate.

Within hours of the bill's passage just before Congress went on its annual Christmas break, a "Primary Paul Ryan" effort was launched within several grass-roots groups. By the following Monday, a Facebook page dedicated to ousting him in Wisconsin's First Congressional District had about 7,000 "likes."

Its aim, as stated, is "finding and supporting a constitutional conservative primary challenger to run against Paul Ryan in 2016 for his House seat." One week since its launch, the page's audience has now grown to more than 32,000.

The Wisconsin Tea Party, outraged over the omnibus spending bill, has set its sights on ousting Ryan, as well. National Tea Party groups have also joined in the fight. According to members of both groups, there have been conversations with a potential primary challenger.

Defeating a sitting Speaker of the House has proven itself nearly impossible in modern American politics. The task would be just as difficult in 2016 going against Paul Ryan, who has never lost an election in the First District.

He is the first Speaker of the House from Wisconsin, and won re-election in his district with 63 percent of the vote in 2014. He's never received less than 55 percent of the vote since he first ran in 1998.


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