Dem lawmaker looking into whether Ryan violated House rules by forcing out chaplain

Dem lawmaker looking into whether Ryan violated House rules by forcing out chaplain
© Greg Nash

A Democratic Ohio lawmaker is looking into whether Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate MORE (R-Wis.) violated House procedure when he sought the resignation of House Chaplain Patrick Conroy.

Rep. Marcy KapturMarcia (Marcy) Carolyn KapturOn The Money: Trump to meet China's vice premier during trade talks | Appeals court says Deutsche Bank doesn't have Trump's tax returns | House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey to retire DeLauro enters race to succeed Lowey as Appropriations chief House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey to retire MORE told Roll Call that she believes a House vote is necessary to remove a chaplain, as the position is considered an “officer of the House.”

Conroy submitted a letter of resignation on Thursday at Ryan’s request, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers told The Hill that Conroy was forced out by the speaker.

“[His departure was] more than a little suspicious,” Kaptur told Roll Call.


The reason behind Conroy’s ouster is unclear, though Democratic sources told The Hill it was because Conroy offered a prayer on the House floor that could have been interpreted as critical of the GOP tax law, legislation strongly championed by Ryan.

Kaptur said she wants to find a bipartisan solution, which could include a privileged resolution to reinstate Conroy.

“I don’t want to make it a partisan thing,” she said. “This is about a person and justice has to prevail.”

“For me as a Catholic, with everything else that has gone in my church with cover-ups and all the rest, I feel a special responsibility to not have someone’s reputation damaged,” she said, adding that she thinks the chaplain was “deeply hurt” by the situation. 

Kaptur, along with other lawmakers from both parties, is sending a letter to Ryan demanding answers on the process behind Conroy's departure.