Ryan confident painting depicting cops as pigs will come down

Ryan confident painting depicting cops as pigs will come down
© Greg Nash
Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanKenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 At indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates MORE (R-Wis.) said Thursday he’s confident a controversial painting depicting police officers as pigs would come down from a wall in the Capitol, calling the artwork “disgusting.”
“This is disgusting and not befitting of the Capitol,” Ryan told conservative radio host Mike Gallagher.
The Speaker’s remarks came a day after Rep. Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertWashington Rep. Kim Schrier wins primary Mail ballot surge places Postal Service under spotlight Bottom Line MORE (R-Wash.), a former sheriff, argued in a letter to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) that the painting should be removed because it violates the rules of the annual high school art competition run by the AOC.
The rules prohibit artwork “depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature.” The AOC is currently reviewing that GOP request, Ryan said.
In a separate letter to Ryan, Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) argued that taking down the painting is a violation of the freedom of expression protected under the First Amendment. The high school student who painted the artwork, David Pulphus, is one of Clay’s constituents.
Democrats and Republicans have engaged in a tug-of-war over the painting in recent days. GOP lawmakers have physically removed the artwork three times from a pedestrian tunnel that connects the Capitol with two House buildings. Each time it’s been taken down, Clay — with backing from the Congressional Black Caucus — has put it right back up.
“In America we don’t arrest artwork,” Clay wrote to Ryan. 
“Stripping it from the competition under the guise of protecting ‘decorum’ is an obvious pretext for violating Mr. Pulphus’s freedom of expression as an American.”