A conservative group affiliated with the tea party movement is urging congressional Republicans to postpone their planned election for speaker of the House so there can be more debate about the future of the party.
“After a chaotic election cycle, the House Republican Conference should take some time to reassess and reflect on what the future of the GOP will be,” said FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon. “Will the conference fight for conservative priorities in the lame duck and into the next Congress? Or will it continue down the path of the status quo that has frustrated conservative grassroots activists across America.”
The House GOP is expected to meet behind closed doors the week after the November elections to select members of the party’s congressional leadership, including their nominee for speaker of the House. (Following that vote, the entire House of Representatives will gather on the floor to formally elect the speaker, but the real decision is made in the closed-door conference meeting.)
Assuming Republicans hold the House, there are a number of open questions: Does Speaker Paul Ryan still want the job? Do House conservatives still back him or do they get behind someone else? If Donald Trump loses the presidential race, what sort of intra-party debate occurs within the Republican Party?
FreedomWorks isn’t saying yet whether it would support Ryan.
In a Tuesday interview with The Daily Caller, Brandon said: “Slow it down, make the sure the caucus can work together on what its principles are, then elect a speaker based on those principles. That could be speaker Ryan, it could be someone like Jeb Hensarling, it could be a Marsha Blackburn, Jim Jordan’s quite popular with a lot of folks.”
In a press release, Brandon said: “The extent to which Speaker Ryan fights for fiscal sanity and conservative priorities in the upcoming funding battle are key to understanding whether the House Republican Conference will produce a bold conservative policy agenda and fight to move it through next Congress or whether the status quo, in which government continues to grow and more debt and deficits are piled on taxpayers, will be maintained.”