When Republicans won last year, it came as a shock to Democrats and casual political observers. For Republicans, it signaled that their shift in leadership had worked. Whereas years past saw moderate nominees such as Senator John McCain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, this year saw businessman Donald Trump take the mantle as GOP standard bearer. Former House Speaker John Boehner long held control for Republicans in the House of Representatives, but stood down after mounting pressure and handed over control to Romney’s former running mate, Paul Ryan.
Republicans won because they were supposed to change things. Paul Ryan’s Republican Congress would be different from John Boehner’s and certainly Nancy Pelosi’s. Instead, the leadership of Speaker Paul Ryan would be nothing new and just the same old trash doled out by a younger fresh-faced swamp rat.
Republicans this year have been a massive failure. After several years of pledging to repeal Obamacare, the party rejected an actual repeal of the legislation and couldn’t even agree on which form of a lame Obamacare Lite replacement to support. Tax reform came without a way to address the deficit. Big government continued to grow and the surveillance state has not been reigned in.
Now Congressman Justin Amash has taken aim at the leadership of Speaker Ryan.
When Ryan first took over the speaker role in 2015, he pledged an open process. He specifically stated they would not bottle up the process and predetermine the fate of legislation. He said the founders wanted an open process and he would honor that.
The problem is, Speaker Ryan hasn’t.
A month ago, Speaker Ryan set a record for the most time shutting down amendment proposals. His promise for a more open and inclusive process turned out to be a lie. As Congressman Amash notes, amendments have to be approved by leadership before a vote.
What happened to not bottling up the process? What happened to not predetermining how things will go down? What happened to openness being the will of the Founding Fathers?
Earlier this year, Amash told constituents that Congress either needed a new direction from the Speaker or a new Speaker altogether. Given the recent record set by Speaker Ryan, it is clearly time for a change in leadership.
More recently, he describes the system as really broken. Amash claims that the Speaker is more concerned with protecting members from unauthorized votes than allowing transparency to take its course. Is it time for a new direction?
Back in 2012, Ryan ran alongside Mitt Romney to lead the United States of America. Democrats were obviously opposed to the Republican Party’s presidential ticket on partisan grounds, but even many Republicans were skeptical. The leadership quality wasn’t there. It was clear Romney wasn’t the firm leader needed to take on a serious conservative agenda, and Ryan shows us time and time again he isn’t either.
Amash is absolutely right about Speaker Paul Ryan. The promises for transparency and openness were violated, and that’s something that should concern Republicans. It’s time for Congressional Republicans to push for more openness or, as Congressman Amash previously stated, Ryan should resign.