House Speaker Paul Ryan insisted he is not worried about a deal President Donald Trump struck with Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer bundling hurricane relief with agreements on government funding Wednesday.
The deal included a three-month debt limit increase and a three-month resolution to keep the government funded, a deal pitched by the House and Senate minority leaders that was said to have irked some Republican leaders.
Ryan threw cold water on that notion in an interview with Fox News on Thursday night.
“I think you expect the president to talk to the other party,” Ryan said, saying that in working with Democrats on hurricane relief and government funding matters, Trump was freeing up his own party to focus on their next big challenge: tax reform.
Ryan made similar comments in an interview with The New York Times on Thursday.
Still, the matter of Trump’s unexpected alliance with Democrats has rattled some conservatives and even prompted murmurings of a plot to challenge Ryan’s seat as speaker of the House. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that “several influential House conservatives” were secretly discussing the idea, and that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (1995-1999) and former Pennsylvania senator and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum were floated as potential replacements for the current speaker.
Ryan brushed off the notion. “I don’t worry about this stuff at all,” he said. “Look, when I took this job at the request of our members, I knew it comes with lots of slander. This is not something I’m worried about or focused on.” “I’m worried about getting our agenda passed,” he said.