Conservatives blame Paul Ryan for not blocking Syrian refugees, because that’s how this works now

Paul Ryan is still unpacking boxes in the Speakers office, and he’s already learning just how horrible and impossible his job is going to be.

Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, just went crying to Breitbart that “conservative House members have received no commitment from Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) that he would in any way try to curb the nation’s importation of Muslims on visas.”

This led Governor Mike “Wake Up and Smell the Falafel” Huckabee to call Ryan out on Twitter for failing to “lead” with the appropriate amount of that’s-not-how-American-government-is-supposed-to-work:

The United States has already committed to accepting 85,000 Syrian refugees next year and 100,000 in 2017, but the actual funding that would be required in order to house them has to be approved by Congress as part of the recent Boehner-Obama budget deal. The House Freedom Caucus opposes the deal, while Ryan said he didn’t like how it was put together, but voted for it anyway (he did, after all, work on it). Following the attacks, conservatives in Congress want to hold up the deal over its necessary allocation of funds to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, calling on Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to strip those funds before it heads to the president’s desk. President Obama would almost certainly veto such a bill.

If I’m understanding this correctly, congressional conservatives are essentially demanding that Paul Ryan shut down the government over their dictionary-definition Islamophobia.

Paul Ryan, via Mel Brown /

Paul Ryan, via Mel Brown /

I don’t expect Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell to blow up an otherwise-favorable deal and risk shutting down the government over a policy that wouldn’t actually keep Americans safer. Then again, who knows? The House Freedom Caucus is notoriously good at getting what they want, and moving the House Republicans as a whole farther and farther right. What’s more, these guys aren’t even the national security hawks in the GOP — that honor goes to otherwise-less-conservative members such as Rep. Peter King (R-NY). So it isn’t too hard to believe that their effort will pick up support as more and more Republicans hop on the closed borders bandwagon.

Either way, this underscores just how impossible Paul Ryan’s job as Speaker is in the long term. There is no way he can hold his caucus together if every pet issue — every dollar of feigned outrage — becomes grounds for halting the basic functions of government. But that’s where we are, and that’s where we’re likely to be for a very long time.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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26 Responses to “Conservatives blame Paul Ryan for not blocking Syrian refugees, because that’s how this works now”

  1. DRoseDARs says:

    This is what happens when you indulge hostage-takers and domestic terrorists.

  2. Nonbeliever says:

    I apologize and applaud you for allowing me to freely speak my own opinions on your site. to many moderator’s are very quick to ban someone who does not completely agree with their views. I just found this site and like it very much and will head your warning and tread lightly

  3. Moderator3 says:

    Tread lightly. Don’t insult other commenters. I find your 94 comments in your first two days to be a little suspect.

  4. Nonbeliever says:

    I am a democrat I just don’t let them make up my mind on all issues I think for myself after I figure out the whole unbiased truth. try it sometime you might like it

  5. 2karmanot says:


  6. 2karmanot says:

    Or change your mind about those alligator shoes and matching belt.

  7. 2karmanot says:

    next!………… don’t even think about it troll….

  8. Nonbeliever says:

    I can clearly see you lack unbiased information stay on these sites that only feed you half truths and don’t seek factual information

  9. nicho says:

    Calm down. Your bigotry has been noted.

  10. Houndentenor says:

    The sooner they force Ryan to resign and slink off into obscurity the better.

  11. nicho says:

    Brilliant analogy.

  12. Indigo says:

    This Congress . . . the folks making up this legislature display no sense of legal process whatsoever. It’s as if they imagine themselves to be tin-horn dictators whose petulant demands must be met at once. Who the hell are they and how in the heck did they get into Congress? They have no business there other than self-aggrandizement and throwing tantrums.

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  14. Nonbeliever says:

    The more refugees we take in the better off the country will be GOBAMA

  15. nicho says:

    For any state where the governor says he won’t take refugees, the president should divert federal aid for the state to the care of refugees.

  16. Zorba says:

    Perhaps we can ask Judith Viorst to write a book entitled “Paul Ryan and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” ;-)

  17. Zorba says:

    No kidding. We are well and truly fucked, any which way we look at it. :-(

  18. mf_roe says:

    The fans pay for a contrived contest based on rules fixed by the owners who have utter contempt for the spirit of competition. Explore the similarities and you see why the politicians all wear similar uniforms, repugs with their Flags & Crosses, Dems with symbols of solidarity that they constantly betray. They even get traded to the opposing side when the hype needs refreshing.

  19. John Smith says:

    If Congress won’t fund the refugees, the President should do what any self respecting corporation would do, divert future funding for Congressional pensions to refugee accounts. It’s only a temporary measure

  20. Indigo says:

    The comparison to professional sports teams is a new one to me. That makes good sense.

  21. nicho says:

    You sign up for a shit job, you’re going to get shit.

  22. mf_roe says:

    Like a professional sports team they disappoint the fans while making their owners ever richer. The true failures are traded soon enough.

  23. Indigo says:

    A congress of baboons if ever there was one.

  24. nicho says:

    We will come to miss John Boehner.

    And that shows you how truly fucked the country is.

  25. mf_roe says:

    Ryan’s colossal arrogance has lead him to believe that he had control of Bedlam, the spectacle of his being put in his place will be terrifying to watch. He never had the infighting skills needed for a Leadership post and has none of the traits needed to develop those skills. His incompetence will open many dangerous doors because his approach is to act on goals not viable options. We will come to miss John Boehner.

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