Why Dave Brat Said He Couldn’t Vote for Paul Ryan as Speaker


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U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) and eight other Republicans cast a symbolic vote for Rep. Daniel Webster on Thursday. He explained his reasons.

“Before Congressman Ryan announced his consideration for the position, I made a promise to my constituents to only vote for a Speaker candidate who was willing to commit, on paper, to the ten Republican consensus principles I laid out,” Brat said in a statement. “Unfortunately, I never received that confirmation from Congressman Ryan, preventing me from being able to support him.”

The ten principles are:

Facilitate a budget that balances within 10 years and seek to enforce it through the authorizing and appropriations process.

Encourage committees to advance market-driven health care reforms to replace Obamacare.

Support policies that secure the border and enable interior enforcement while opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Urge all committees to advance agendas based on limited government, economic opportunity, and fiscal responsibility.

Enforce the rule of law and separation of powers against executive (presidential) overreach.

Seek reforms of the Republican Conference Rules so leadership committees better represent the American people.

Adhere to the majority-of-the-majority principle for bringing legislation to the floor.

Support changes to the budget process to promote fiscal responsibility, particularly regarding mandatory programs (70% of current spending).

Empower committee members to choose chairs and craft reform legislation without fear of retaliation.

Broaden opportunities to offer amendments and legislation on the House floor with full debate.

The nine congressmen who voted for Webster out of principle were:

Dave Brat (R-VA)
Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
Thomas Massie (R-KY)
Bill Posey (R-FL)
Randy Weber (R-TX)
Ted Yoho (R-FL)
Curt Clawson (R-FL)
Walter Jones (R-NC)

Ryan has vowed to keep the Hastert Rule which empowers conservative Republican lawmakers to block legislation proposed by more establishment Republicans. Nancy Pelosi warned Ryan against the Hastert rule. She also said it was dead.


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