The curtain is about to come down on Paul Ryan’s run as a major force in Washington politics. Should Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives next year Ryan would lose his speakership (and he would likely be forced to step down as Republican leader as well). If Republicans hold onto the House by a few votes, the Republican majority will be even more dependent on the Freedom Caucus, which will want one of their own as speaker. Either way, Ryan’s window to enact any of his major legislative priorities is rapidly dwindling.
It seems it was just yesterday that Ryan was viewed as the future of the Republican Party. He was hailed as one of the GOP’s true, big policy thinkers and his so-called talents were rewarded with a series of plum jobs normally held aside for more seasoned members of Congress. Ranking member of the House Budget Committee at 37, his party’s vice presidential nominee at 42, chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee at 45, and then speaker shortly thereafter.
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