Republican rep: Speakership would hinder Ryan's efforts on taxes, debt

Greg Nash

Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) is urging his GOP colleagues to not pressure Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan: Recession 'around the corner' without tax reform Michigan Dems highlight Flint with unanimous opposition to CR Congress departs for recess until after Election Day MORE (R-Wis.) to run for Speaker.

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Jolly argues in a letter that will be circulated on Monday that Ryan can better serve the conservative cause from his perch as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and touted fellow Floridian Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) as the best choice for the House's top job.

“If we want Paul Ryan to revamp our nation’s tax code, reduce the federal debt and get the nation’s books in order, we need Dan Webster as our next Speaker of the House,” Jolly said in the letter.

He maintained that the House’s top lawmaker does not need to be “the face of the party" heading into a presidential election, where the eventual nominee will represent Republicans on the national stage.

Jolly said the eventual Speaker should be someone who can rebuild “the greatness of our institution through legislative leadership” and “who cares less for the limelight and more for the talent of every thought leader in our conference.”

He underscored experience as Speaker of the Florida House as a point in Webster’s favor.

“Dan pushed the most important policy matters to the top of the agenda, gave Members a full chance to participate, and stopped the late night sessions and amendment trains that led to poor decisions, poor policy and declining public confidence,” Jolly said.

Ryan initially declined any interest in running for Speaker after Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) anncounced he would be stepping down at the end of October, but Republican leadership in the lower chamber has been pressuring him to consider a run. 

Read letter from Rep. David Jolly