Dem whip: Ryan could be ‘outstanding’ as Speaker

House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi says she's open to stock trading ban for Congress Former Maryland rep announces bid for old House seat Fury over voting rights fight turns personal on Capitol Hill  MORE (D-Md.) said Wednesday that Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow Kevin McCarthy sold his soul to Donald Trump On The Trail: Retirements offer window into House Democratic mood Stopping the next insurrection MORE (R-Wis.) is an excellent choice to replace outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“I think [he] can be an outstanding leader of the House,” Hoyer said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “He’s very bright, very hardworking [and] very issue focused.

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“If he wants to lead in a constructive, positive, bipartisan way, he has the ability to do that, and I hope that’s what he does,” Hoyer added.

Hoyer contends, however, that Ryan would face an uphill tenure as Speaker given the fractured nature of the House Republicans.

“In order to be an outstanding leader, you got to have outstanding followers and the problem the Republicans have had is that they’re a deeply divided party and have rendered their leadership dysfunctional,” Hoyer said.

“As a body, we have not functioned in an effective manner because we have been too partisan and too divided,” he added of the House.

The House GOP is holding a closed-door nominating conference Wednesday afternoon. Ryan faces a long-shot challenge from Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.).

There is then a formal floor vote scheduled for Thursday, which could make Ryan the 54th House Speaker before Boehner’s expected resignation Friday.

Ryan also announced Wednesday that he is backing a two-year bipartisan budget agreement that is likely passing the House later Wednesday afternoon.

“So there is no confusion, I thought Paul Ryan’s budgets were not good budgets,” Hoyer said.

“[Rep.] Hal Rogers [R-Ky.] has referred to them as unrealistic and ill-conceived,” Hoyer said. “Hal Rogers, as you know, the conservative chairman of the [House] Appropriations Committee, a Republican.”

Ryan has a reputation as a policy craftsman given his past work drafting multiple national budget plans. The Wisconsin lawmaker has played a major role in outlining proposed budgets since fiscal year 2008.