Ryan gets sup­port of House GOP

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Lisa Mas­caro — Wash­ing­ton Bureau

WASH­ING­TON — Paul Ryan ap­pears to be cruis­ing to­ward re-elec­tion as House speaker, but his bold prom­ise Tues­day of a new “dawn” for GOP unity — Repub­li­can law­mak­ers found “Make Amer­ica Great Again” hats wait­ing on their chairs at a morn­ing meet­ing — does not hide the deep di­vi­sions that re­main.

There’s a clash grow­ing be­tween Don­ald Trump’s new vi­sion of the Repub­li­can Party, which in­cludes in­creased spend­ing on sev­eral fronts, and bud­get hawks like Ryan and the GOP’s small­go­v­ern­ment Free­dom Cau­cus, whose ide­ol­ogy had pre­vi­ously dom­i­nated the party.

It’s not just that the pres­i­dent-elect has promised costly big-ticket items — beef­ing up­the mil­i­tary, build­ing a wall along the bor­der with Mex­ico and im­prov­ing the so­cial safety net, in­clud­ing health care.

Trump has also shown

Speaker sup­ports Trump ad­viser

WASH­ING­TON - House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., de­fended Stephen Ban­non as a top ad­viser in Don­ald Trump’s White House, prais­ing the po­lit­i­cal strate­gist de­spite crit­ics who note he has pro­vided a plat­form for white na­tion­al­ism. Ryan, who said he talks to Trump ev­ery day now, dis­missed the furor over Ban­non, say­ing the for­mer editor of Bre­it­bart News was cru­cial to the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­t­elect’s suc­cess. lit­tle in­ter­est in Ryan’s sig­na­ture bud­get-slash­ing pro­pos­als — such as cut­ting spend­ing on Medi­care and Med­i­caid — which had long been cen­tral to the GOP’s plan for re­duc­ing deficits.

In fact, very lit­tle of what Trump promised to do dur- House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks dur­ing a news con­fer­ence af­ter a lead­er­ship elec­tion Tues­day. ing the cam­paign in­volved cut­ting gov­ern­ment spend­ing. Rather, he spoke of in­vest­ing in the na­tion and cre­at­ing jobs, and he once proudly pro­claimed him­self “the king of debt” in his busi­ness deal­ings.

House Re­pub­li­cans unan­i­mously agreed Tues­day to nom­i­nate the Wis­con­sin Repub­li­can for an­other twoyear term, re­ward­ing his ef­forts to unify the party. The fi­nal House vote takes place in Jan­uary.

But Ryan ac­knowl­edged that they are only be­gin­ning to work through the de­tails of a uni­fied Repub­li­can agenda.

“It’s go­ing to take time to fig­ure out ex­actly what bill comes where and how it all adds up,” Ryan said.

The first clash may come over Trump’s call for a $1tril­lion in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram.

Even if Trump re­lies on pri­vate in­vest­ment, as his ad­vis­ers have sug­gested, the no­tion of us­ing gov­ern­ment to prime the pump to cre­ate jobs stunned many con­ser­va­tives when it re­ceived top billing on elec­tion night.

Dan Holler, spokesman at the con­ser­va­tive Her­itage Ac­tion for Amer­ica, was taken aback as he watched Trump’s vic­tory speech and the pres­i­dent-elect spoke of his “beau­ti­ful” pro­gram for new bridges, roads, air­ports and schools.

To many that sounded more like the dream of bigspend­ing Democrats than the Repub­li­can just elected to the White House.

“It would be a mis­take to think that’s what the peo­ple were clam­or­ing for,” said Holler, whose in­flu­en­tial group tries to hold the line against spend­ing. “As if that is the main mes­sage of the cam­paign — that we need a mas­sive stim­u­lus.”

The bat­tle over spend­ing is just one of the chal­lenges that lie ahead as Re­pub­li­cans ad­just to fact that they have now achieved what they long sought: Repub­li­can con­trol of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade.

Be­cause Trump doesn’t neatly align with any pre­vi­ous strain of the GOP, it will only con­found the job fac­ing con­gres­sional lead­ers.

In that sense, Trump’s elec­tion won’t end the civil war be­tween Re­pub­li­cans on Capi­tol Hill. In fact, it may only com­pli­cate mat­ters by adding a new front in their in­ter­nal bat­tle — a Repub­li­can-led White House.

ZACH GIB­SON/GETTY

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