By Russell Berman - 11/14/12 07:03 PM EST
House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE (R-Ohio) has tapped Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanUS secretly agreed to help lift Iran bank sanctions: report 9/11 bill is a global blunder that will weaken US efforts abroad Dear Speaker Ryan: your 'forward-looking agenda' ignores climate change MORE (R-Wis.) and two other senior Republicans for key roles as he prepares for negotiations on the fiscal cliff with the White House and Democratic leaders.
The Speaker is adding Ryan and Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Dave Camp (R-Mich.) to his daily management meetings “in preparation for the fiscal cliff talks,” BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE spokesman Michael Steel said. Those meetings already include the top four members of the House Republican leadership team.
The move comes as welcome news to House conservatives, who called on Wednesday for Ryan to take a central role in the fiscal negotiations after his stint on the Republican national ticket.
“I hope he’s front and center in this debate,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the outgoing chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee. “He’s probably our best spokesperson for how serious this debt situation is.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said at a “Conservations with Conservatives” panel that it was announced at the House GOP’s closed-door conference meeting Wednesday morning that Ryan had been added to the leadership’s “negotiating team.”
Boehner has not announced a formal team of negotiators and is waiting on Obama to start talks. He, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe missed opportunity of JASTA States urged to bolster election security How the White House got rolled on the Saudi-9/11 bill MORE (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnell9/11 bill is a global blunder that will weaken US efforts abroad States urged to bolster election security How the White House got rolled on the Saudi-9/11 bill MORE (R-Ky.) are headed to the White House on Friday for an initial meeting on averting the tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at year’s end.
Ryan received an extended standing ovation during the closed-door meeting Wednesday morning, lawmakers said, and he told his colleagues that it “was an honor” to serve on the Republican ticket during the campaign.
After the meeting, he declined to talk to reporters about the fiscal cliff, saying "there'll be plenty of time to talk about that stuff later."
Dozens of members of the Republican conference look to Ryan for guidance on budget issues, making him a crucial leader for Boehner to keep close as he negotiates an agreement with Obama.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Ryan “is still an icon in this conference,” despite the loss of the Romney-Ryan ticket.
“We’re going to have to lay out a path to fiscal solvency, and Paul Ryan’s going to be a very important part of that,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said.
Camp is also a critical player, having worked on tax reform proposals for the past two years as Ways and Mean chairman. He has been “constantly in contact” with Boehner on tax options, said Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles BoustanyHouse passes bill exempting some from ObamaCare mandate Louisiana needs Caroline Fayard as its new senator The Trail 2016: TrumpCare MORE (R-La.), a member of the panel.
— Erik Wasson contributed