What Is Paul Ryan Outraged About Now?

Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Politics has gotten to the point that I literally don’t understand it anymore. This is from the Washington Post this morning:

The House bill does not include language to raise the debt ceiling ahead of a late-September deadline, a relief to conservatives who oppose linking the two issues. But that doesn’t mean the lower chamber will ultimately avoid such a vote: Senate Republican leaders said they plan to attach a debt-ceiling hike to Harvey aid despite conservative opposition.

Democratic leaders offered support for a combined package on Wednesday provided it only raises the debt ceiling for three months, a plan that would allow the minority party to maintain leverage on issues like government spending, health care and protections for immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, known as “dreamers,” before the end of the year.

….Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) called the offer a “ridiculous idea”….“Let’s just think about this: We’ve got all this devastation in Texas. We’ve got another unprecedented hurricane about to hit Florida, and they want to play politics with the debt ceiling? … I think that’s ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment when we have fellow citizens in need, to respond to these hurricanes so we do not strand them,” Ryan told a news conference on Wednesday.

Let me get this straight. House Republicans don’t want any debt ceiling increase at all tied to Harvey aid. Senate Republicans do want a debt ceiling increase tied to Harvey aid. Democrats are offering to support the Senate bill as long as the debt ceiling increase is only for three months.

What exactly is Paul Ryan outraged about? Does he think Democrats should reject any debt ceiling increase? Does he think they should accept a longer debt ceiling increase? What would constitute not playing politics with Harvey aid?

Maybe my brain has turned to mush, but I don’t get this. I can only assume that Ryan is pretending to be outraged because it makes good theater. Nothing else really makes sense.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest