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Harry Reid Hopes Paul Ryan Becomes House Speaker

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 20/10/2015 Jennifer Bendery
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WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says if he had his way, he'd pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to be the next speaker of the House.

"I'm a Paul Ryan fan," Reid told reporters.

"He appears to be one of the people over there that could be reasonable. I mean, look at some of the other people," the majority leader continued. "I don't agree with him on much of what he does. I think what he's done with Medicare and Medicaid, what he wants to do with it, I disagree with. But generally speaking, I think we've been able to work with him."

House Republicans have been scrambling to find someone to be their next speaker after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) abruptly quit the race earlier this month. A few Republicans have thrown their names into the mix, but they've been drowned out by a groundswell of support for Ryan. So far, he's said he's not interested, but given the pressure from GOP leadership and others desperate for someone who can unify the party, people are watching to see whether he changes his mind this week.

Current Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is leaving Congress as soon as Republicans find his replacement.

Reid's endorsement wouldn't exactly help Ryan if he decides to run and needs support among GOP conservatives. Asked whether he realized his comments could work against Ryan, the Nevada Democrat shrugged.

"I speak the truth," he said.  "If it helps him, fine. If it doesn't, too bad."

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