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POLITICO Huddle: HOW PAUL RYAN GOT TO… Speaker floor election TODAY…

By Seung Min Kim ( or @seungminkim)

HOW PAUL RYAN GOT TO ‘YES’ – Jake Sherman chronicles how Paul Ryan, the presumed next speaker of the House, navigated a way to accept perhaps the toughest job in Washington: “Paul Ryan’s first inclination was to jam them. He was so wary of the modern speakership — and the political climate in the House — that Ryan said he wouldn’t run for the chamber’s top job unless he could exact a number of concessions from the conservative rank and file. Unlike John Boehner, Ryan wanted his confrontation at the front end … But like so many decisions in Ryan’s run for the speakership, this one was subject to drastic change and modification. After multiple private discussions with Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a friend and leader of the House Freedom Caucus, Ryan reversed course.”

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–“Ryan had no whip list, he didn’t ask anyone for support. But he did take nearly every meeting requested of him, voicing support for everything from rules changes to empowering committee chairmen to quicker action on spending bills. Conservative members repeatedly asked him whether he would hire Boehner’s outgoing aides. He would bring on many of his own staffers, he said. But while Ryan was circling the conference asking for support, Boehner was secretly trying to save him from a tumultuous first year.”

–A rough timeline of events this morning:

9 a.m.: Boehner will open the House

9:40 a.m.: Boehner will deliver his farewell remarks

9:50 a.m.: Nominations for speaker will be announced.

9:57 a.m.: The manual roll call election will begin.

If the election goes as expected, Ryan will be announced as the next speaker shortly after 11 a.m.

Per @frankthorpNBC: Mitt and Ann Romney will be in the House gallery to watch Paul Ryan get elected and sworn-in as Speaker today

Upon his nomination as speaker, Ryan sounded an optimistic tone, telling reporters: “This begins a new day in the House of Representatives. We are turning the page.” More from the AP’s Erica Werner:

@mkraju: Someone literally blew white smoke out of the room where Republicans are voting

@mkraju: The source of the white smoke emerging from room: A congressman vaping, we are told

–Copy editor alert: It’s now “Paul D. Ryan,” not simply “Paul Ryan.” CBS News on the name tweak:

HOT CLICK – CQ Roll Call is out today with this year’s Wealth of Congress index:

MCCONNELL WINS UGLY ON BUDGET – Your Huddle author pairs up with Burgess Everett for the story: “Mitch McConnell gave most Senate Republicans exactly what they wanted: His bipartisan budget compromise effectively eliminates shutdown and default threats through the 2016 elections, makes modest entitlement reforms and beefs up national security. And boy, are most Senate Republicans mad about it. In interviews with more than 20 Senate Republicans on Wednesday, a broad swath of the caucus either said they were outright opposed to the accord or ticked off concerns — rather than benefits — about the deal, which increases spending by $80 billion over two years with offsets and adds $32 billion more through a war contingency fund.”

— “‘Not liking it,’ said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), a vulnerable incumbent who stands to benefit from fiscal stability during his 2016 reelection bid. ‘Leader McConnell probably got as good a deal as he could get. From my standpoint, I don’t think it’s a good enough deal for me to be able to support.’ Even members of McConnell’s leadership team aren’t offering public endorsements.”

–From our informal whip count of Senate Republicans so far: Yes or leaning yeses include Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Johnny Isakson (on cloture), John McCain, Thom Tillis and Roger Wicker. Nos or leaning nos include Johnson, Roy Blunt, Bob Corker, Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, Chuck Grassley, Dean Heller, John Hoeven, Jim Inhofe, James Lankford, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, David Perdue, Rob Portman, Pat Roberts, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, and Jeff Sessions. Meanwhile, Deb Fischer and Mike Rounds have issues with crop insurance.

Lawmakers will find a fix to the crop insurance issue after the budget deal passes, likely in the omnibus, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) tells CQ Roll Call: And trivia, per the story: Thune is the chairman of the Congressional Farmer Cooperative Caucus.

The House passes the two-year budget deal Wednesday, with a vote of 266-167. The New York Times’ David Herszenhorn: And POLITICO’s budget guru David Rogers explains the gimmick in the fiscal deal:

THE END OF THE ‘BIG FOUR’ – The Boehner-Pelosi-McConnell-Reid era will draw to a close today, writes Paul Kane for WaPo: “For almost nine straight years, Boehner, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) have led their respective caucuses together — longer than any other quartet of party leaders in congressional history … About as different personally as any four people could be, Boehner and his three cohorts have learned each other’s rhythms and tactics, their bargaining ploys and their dead-serious moments of candor. They have overseen a historically unpopular Congress, yet if not for their own battle-tested negotiations, things might have been a lot worse.”

–“They couldn’t be much more different: Pelosi, 75, the extroverted Italian grandmother from San Francisco; McConnell, 73, the introverted only child raised in the South; Reid, 75, the soft-talking Mormon from a tiny mining town in Nevada; Boehner, the gregarious Midwesterner from a family of 12 kids with a penchant for Camel cigarettes and an extra glass of merlot. If they were a four-piece band, Pelosi would be the lead guitarist, providing the energy and drive; McConnell, the bass guitarist quietly holding the act together; Reid, the drummer pushing his silent rage to make things work better. Boehner, of course, would be the lead singer, full of so much passion that he always reached for the most virtuoso performance, even if it meant often burning up in spectacular failure.”

–NPR’s Susan Davis has audio snippets of Boehner’s exit interview with congressional reporters:

A+ CONSTITUENT SERVICE — @SenToomey: If the #blimp has damaged your property, submit a claim with the Army Claims Services at 301-677-9076.

HAPPY THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2015 and welcome to the Huddle. Rachael Bade is giving your tired Huddle writer the morning off tomorrow, so send her your tips, complaints, corrections, gossip, etc at and on Twitter at @rachaelmbade. As always, I’m at, or on Twitter at @seungminkim.

My new followers include @AlyssaNewcomb and @Elise_Jordan.

TODAY IN CONGRESS – The House is in at 9 a.m. On tap: electing the next speaker of the House of Representatives. The Senate is in at 10 a.m. for some great intervening day action.

AROUND THE HILL – Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and others are holding a press conference on trade at noon at House Triangle. Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) are holding a conference call calling for mental health reform at noon. Call-in number is (877) 229-8493 and PIN is 114-724.

RECONCILIATION HEADED TO SENATE IN NOVEMBER – I write for POLITICO: “The Senate will likely take up a package to repeal key parts of Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood sometime in November, the chamber’s second-ranking Republican said Wednesday. Congressional Republicans are eager to take advantage of a powerful procedural tool called reconciliation that allows a measure to avoid a filibuster in the Senate – making it much easier to finally send President Barack Obama a bill that dismantles his health care law.”

–“The House passed the reconciliation package last week. And Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said the legislation was headed to the Senate floor in the coming weeks, and that a vote-a-rama – a marathon series of votes – was coming.”

HASTERT PLEADS GUILTY – The Chicago Sun-Times: “Dennis Hastert faced a federal judge Wednesday and admitted in a quiet voice that he broke the law, cementing a harsh legacy for the longest-serving Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. But Hastert’s darkest day in a federal courtroom could still be ahead of him — especially if he fights a jail sentence. That’s because the plea deal he struck with prosecutors appears to leave open the possibility that embarrassing details of sexual misconduct could spill out at his Feb. 29 sentencing hearing, legal experts said.”

HILL PASSES HIGHWAY EXTENSION, DELAYS PTC – POLITICO’s Lauren Gardner: “Congress on Wednesday quietly gave the railroad industry what it demanded: a three- to five-year delay in the deadline for installing the kind of safety technology that could have prevented last spring’s deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia. The move, tucked into a three-week-long extension of an about-to-expire highway law, came despite objections from some Democratic senators who accused lawmakers of bowing to immense pressure from the railroads, which had warned they would have to impose an economically crippling nationwide rail shutdown if they couldn’t get relief from the congressional mandate by the end of this month.”

RUBIO BLOCKING HIS OWN NOMINEE – HuffPo’s Jen Bendery: Sen. Marco “Rubio is withholding his so-called ‘blue slip’ from the Judiciary Committee to prevent Florida district judge nominee Mary Flores from advancing. The committee won’t let any nominee move forward until it has blue slips — they’re literally blue pieces of paper that reflect a senator’s support — from both of a nominee’s home-state senators. Florida’s other senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, turned in his blue slip eight months ago. But nothing from Rubio. The weird part is that Rubio supports Flores.”

–Rubio spox Alex Burgos tells Bendery: “The Senate Judiciary Committee is still conducting a full review of the nominee’s background and record. After that review is complete, Senator Rubio will make his own determination based on the committee’s review and his own further review.”

WEDNESDAY’S TRIVIA WINNER – Dan Cohen was the first person to correctly answer that Abraham Lincoln’s granddaughter had donated contents of the former president’s pockets from the night he was assassinated to the Library of Congress. The collection was discovered in 1975 by Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin.

TODAY’S TRIVIA – Dan has today’s question: Following the Great Invasion of 1995, to what foreign nation did the 478th Civil Affairs Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserve surrender, and who was the nation’s prime minister? The first person to correctly answer gets a mention in the next day’s Huddle. E-mail

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 if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.


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