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 RyanBudowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey Democratic super PAC quotes Reagan in anti-Trump ad set to air on Fox News: 'Are you better off?' Trump lashes out at Reagan Foundation after fundraising request MORE (R-Wis.) violated House procedure when he sought the resignation of House Chaplain Patrick Conroy.

Rep. Marcy KapturMarcia (Marcy) Carolyn KapturEye on gavel, Wasserman Schultz proposes panel on racial inequality in spending Overnight Defense: Army now willing to rename bases named after Confederates | Dems demand answers on 'unfathomable' nuke testing discussions | Pentagon confirms death of north African al Qaeda leader Top Democrats demand answers on Trump administration's 'unfathomable' consideration of nuclear testing 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.

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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.