In April, fact-checking website Snopes.com said that rumors regarding the ousting of House Speaker Paul Ryan could not be proven. Now, outlets are reporting that there might be a coup on the way thanks to Republican dissatisfaction on the latest bipartisan deal over the debt ceiling.
After President Donald Trump told Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that the Republican compromise plan involving a six-month increase to the debt ceiling was out of the question, the president and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer allegedly reached an agreement that included ditching the debt ceiling altogether.
But before this deal was reportedly reached, Ryan told reporters that he found it “disgraceful” that Democrats wanted to “play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment when we have fellow citizens in need.”
Despite his apparent opposition to the idea of raising the ceiling and allowing for more government borrowing, things might be moving the opposite way, with Democrats apparently having more say after they discussed the issue with the president.
Now, The Washington Post reports, several conservatives in Washington are plotting to get Ryan out of his post for failing to stand up to this plan and, instead, implement the hard-line conservative agenda.
Behind closed doors, the report states, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) and Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, have been plotting to recruit potential replacements for Ryan, going as far as looking into tapping former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum to take Ryan's place.
However, The Washington Post continues, the idea that an outsider would pose enough of a threat is simply too far off, making their initial plans sound unrealistic.
Still, Meadows and others involved in the effort, such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania) have already approached Ryan in person, letting him know that his failure to put the conservative agenda in practice could jeopardize future support from fellow conservatives.
According to The Washington Post's sources, the move to pressure Ryan has turned into the beginning of a full-on “war” against the Republican establishment for Bannon.
With his position back at Breitbart, former spokesman for the news website Kurt Bardella told reporters that Bannon believes that his media-led maneuvers may give hard-liners in Congress more influence over Republican leadership, who in turn may become reluctant to go against the conservative agenda.
Still, it's too early to know whether Bannon and those in Congress who are allegedly ready to attack Ryan are, indeed, as influential as they hope. So far, the potential candidates for the position, such as Gingrich, aren't quite sure how the coup would pan out.
In an interview, Gingrich was asked if he knew of the effort to replace Ryan, and he said that while he was aware House Republicans were frustrated, “[i]t would be a joke to have anyone not serving in the House or who’s familiar with the members to lead the body.”
Whatever plan they are putting together, it might as well backfire as even the president has recently shown he's more than willing to make concessions when he allegedly sat down with Schumer and other Democrats to negotiate.
Is Bannon ready to face reality and admit that his influence with the president is finally over?
Only time will tell.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Jason Reed