Tim Ryan Says House in ‘Absolute Chaos’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – In the wake of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-23 Calif., withdrawing his candidacy for Speaker of the House, the atmosphere in the House of Representatives can be easily described by one word, Rep. Tim Ryan, D- 13 Ohio, said Tuesday.

“It’s chaos. There’s no other way to put it. It is absolute chaos,” Ryan said.

The Democrat made his remarks during an interview following Tuesday’s press event where he discussed leading a trade mission, beginning today, to Cuba.

The issue, he said, begins with the Freedom Caucus, a group of 42 conservative Republican representatives who are not “allowing any Republicans to do something reasonable or join with Democrats to do something reasonable. [If they do], they will be punished by the Freedom Caucus,” Ryan said.

“When you have a guy like Paul Ryan say he doesn’t want to be speaker because of the current conditions, that really says something about how unproductive it is and how dangerous politically it is for anyone with any sense to take the job.”

The Freedom Caucus does not represent what many Republicans believe, he continued, and their impact is beginning to affect the nation’s economy. Last month, Ryan wrote an open letter asking General Electric to consider moving its headquarters to Cincinnati. The company decided against the site because of the influence of the caucus there, Ryan said.

“These guys didn’t authorize the Export-Import Bank, which the CEO from General Electric said was hurting their business,” he said. “General Electric was going to put their corporate headquarters in Cincinnati but now they’re not because so many people in that part of the state are against the Export-Import Bank. That was going to be $500 million in investment in America that’s now going to Europe.”

General Electric has not announced the new location of its headquarters.

As the one-year mark to the 2016 Presidential election nears, the caucus may help boost Democrats in the election, Ryan noted.

“I think most reasonable people, regardless of political affiliation, will think, ‘If this is how the Republicans run the shop, then it’ll be dangerous for them to run the House, the Senate and the White House. There’ll be no adult in the room,’ ” he said.

In the House, Ryan conceded, Democrats have a harder time winning seats over Republicans because of how the districts are drawn. He noted that Ohio currently has Democratic representatives, while voting for President Obama and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, twice.

“The way the lines are drawn give an advantage to Republicans and it’s hard to unseat somebody because they’re in a 70% Republican district,” Ryan said.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.