Despite the urging of fellow House Republicans, Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. remains undecided over whether he will make a run for the House Speaker’s job. The current House Speaker, John Boehner, R-Ohio has said he will step down once his successor has been elected.
“Nothing has changed, and I don’t anticipate any news this week,” said a Ways and Means spokesman on Twitter October 12, referring to a possible run for speaker by the Chairman. To date, Ryan has indicated his unwillingness to give up his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
If Ryan were to become Speaker, however, he could carry a lot of clout when it comes to tax legislation. With House Republican leadership in disarray, the Chairman is seen by many as the best man to unify the party and push legislation through that has often lacked Republican support, mainly among conservatives who have bucked Boehner in the past.
On the top of Ryan’s to do list is passing some type of international tax reform and his position as House Speaker could help move such legislation through the House. Ryan had initially hoped to use international tax reform as a means to help fund a six-year transportation bill, but negotiations with Senate Finance Committee member Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. broke down over how much of the revenue would be funneled into the Highway Trust Fund. House leaders now say that the house is likely to accept the revenue offsets found in the Senate’s highway bill.
As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Ryan has already pushed several tax bills through his committee – and ultimately the House – that would make permanent several of the so-called tax extenders. Some Democrats have also been on board with making certain tax provisions permanent.
Jeff Carlson, Wolters Kluwer News Staff