Ryan pushes back at conservative criticism

Greg Nash

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) pushed back Wednesday on criticism from some conservative House colleagues who say he shouldn’t take the Speaker’s job if he isn’t willing to work weekends and sacrifice time with his young family.

“Hey look, I’m here four days a week as it is,” Ryan said Wednesday when asked by The Hill whether he was surprised by the blowback. “I’m not going to spend the other three days a week running around America.”
{mosads}“I guess that’s just Washington for you,” he added as he left a meeting with the conservative Republican Study Committee.

Ryan, the Ways and Means Committee chairman, wants a number of conditions met before he agrees to run for Speaker. One is that the leadership post would not cut into time with his wife and three school-age children, meaning he’d forgo some fundraising trips around the country.

But several conservatives scoffed at that request, arguing that he shouldn’t run if he’s not fully committed to the job.

“More people would apply for the position if they thought it didn’t include weekends,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) told The Hill.

Added Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas), chairman of the Tea Party Caucus: “I don’t think the Speakership is a 9 to 5 job.”

“You’ve got to work on weekends,” Huelskamp added. “John Boehner worked very hard … and I’m very concerned if you’re not going to work weekends in this job, which is primarily fundraising, then that could hurt the Republican majority.”

— Mike Lillis contributed.

Tags Boehner John Boehner Paul Ryan
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