Two leading House Democrats offered measured support for Paul Ryan as speaker on Wednesday, but cautioned that they remain unconvinced he’ll be able to overcome the chaos of the Republican Party.
Reps. Xavier Becerra of California and Joe Crowley of New York, the chairman and vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, respectively, said Democrats are prepared to work with whomever GOP lawmakers elect as speaker – if that person is prepared to work with Democrats in good faith.
“Many of us have had an opportunity to work with Chairman Paul Ryan on the Ways and Means Committee or Chairman Paul Ryan on the Budget Committee,” Becerra said. “I think he’s a serious player. He is smart enough to know what he needs to do and it sounds to me like he is trying to make sure if he does make the move to be speaker, he does it so he can get things done.”
Becerra and Crowley serve with Ryan on the Ways and Means Committee. Crowley and Ryan were elected during the same election cycle and enjoy a close relationship.
Ryan told Republicans this week that he would serve as speaker if he received support from the various factions of the GOP Conference.