Paul Ryan May Want to Quit After Looking at This Chart

The House speaker may maintain his majority—but lose his most loyal members.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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Most pollsters agree that the Republicans are likely to maintain control of the House of Representatives in the upcoming election. Yet according to a new analysis, House Speaker Paul Ryan could wind up with a motley majority full of rebels who stymie his leadership.

Washington superlobbyist Bruce Mehlman looked at the makeup of the House GOP caucus and found that the 22 House Republicans who are most antagonistic to Ryan’s agenda (members who voted with the leadership less than four times on 11 key votes) are safe in the upcoming election. Meanwhile, all of the at-risk Republicans are either Ryan loyalists (28) or what Mehlman has dubbed “persuadables” (15)—lawmakers who fall somewhere in between the other two categories.

Mehlman put together this analysis as part of a presentation on why it is urgent for Congress to tackle pressing issues such as passing a budget, approving funding to fight the spread of the Zika virus, and spending on Louisiana flood relief. There are 33 days left on the legislative calendar—after which, as Mehlman’s presentation suggests, Ryan may have a difficult time corralling his caucus to do much of anything.


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