The fight for “regular order” in the House

Remember watching “Schoolhouse Rock,” in which you were taught how a “Bill” becomes a “Law,” going through committees and all those other legislative processes until it gets passed and signed?  That’s called “regular order,” and it hasn’t been used in the House of Representatives for years.  Mostly today, bills instead are initiated, negotiated, brought to the floor–or not–by House leadership of both parties.

The “Freedom Caucus” of recently-elected conservatives is routinely accused of undermining former speaker John Boehner and creating legislative paralysis for ideological reasons.  But, as political scientist Ross K. Baker explains, what they are actually fighting for is not ideology at all, but rather a return to “regular order.”

As it is, these junior Congressional representatives are given almost no say in legislation, contrary to the wide participation and transparency made possible by the traditional “regular order.”  (Yes, the members of the Freedom Caucus are conservative, but this is because they mostly came in with the anti-Obama landslide of the last Congressional election.)  The new speaker, Paul Ryan, is said to be sympathetic to the Schoolhouse Rock approach to government, but we shall see. [Read more…]

Republicans pick Paul Ryan as House Speaker

House Republicans nominated Paul Ryan to be Speaker of the House, pretty much assuring his election, scheduled for today.  Some conservatives insist that the party’s last Vice Presidential candidate is not conservative enough, despite Ryan’s reputation as an innovative conservative policy wonk.  But most members of the Freedom Caucus–the home of hardline House conservatives who had been the bane of the previous speaker, John Boehner–voted for Ryan. [Read more…]

The space between the individual and the state

Rep. Paul Ryan (R, Wisconsin), in his new book entitled The Way Forward, discusses “the space between the individual and the state” and says that Progressives keep wanting to fill that space with the government. [Read more…]

Conservatives launch war on poverty

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is the founder of the Tea Party Caucus, a true limited-government firebrand.  But the potential presidential candidate is launching a war on poverty.  So is Mitt Romney’s running-mate Paul Ryan, the Congressman from Wisconsin known for his budget-cutting schemes.  He too is a likely presidential contender.

After the jump, stories about both efforts.  What do you make of this?  [Read more…]

Paul Ryan & Ayn Rand

Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan is  a social conservative, a devout Roman Catholic with a  strong pro-life record.  And yet one of his most formative influences is reportedly Ayn Rand, the radical libertarian, an atheist who viciously attacked Christianity because it teaches love and compassion, advocating instead “the virtue of selfishness.”  Those two influences, Catholicism and Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, don’t seem to gibe.

Democrats are playing up the connection between Ryan and Rand in order to portray him as a heartless amoral extremist.  Here Ryan tries to set the record straight:

“I, like millions of young people in America, read Rand’s novels when I was young. I enjoyed them,” Ryan says. “They spurred an interest in economics, in the Chicago School and Milton Friedman,” a subject he eventually studied as an undergraduate at Miami University in Ohio. “But it’s a big stretch to suggest that a person is therefore an Objectivist.”

“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan says firmly. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,” who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. “Don’t give me Ayn Rand,” he says.

via Ryan Shrugged – Robert Costa – National Review Online.

For a more detailed examination of how Ryan now differs from Rand, see this.

Romney picks Paul Ryan

Mitt Romney has chosen Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan to be his vice-presidential running-mate.  Ryan is known for his deficit-slashing budget proposal and his fiscal conservatism.

Does this help Romney?  Will it rally conservatives behind him or just alarm the general public worried about Social Security reform?

iPhone App: Romney Selects Paul Ryan | The Weekly Standard.