Conservatives want Paul Ryan to shake up the House

Full Interview: Rep. Mick Mulvaney, October 1... 04:27

A member of the House Freedom Caucus said Sunday that the group of ardent conservatives would consider Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, for House speaker if he can convince them he'll change the way the House governs.

"He's got to convince me and some other folks that if he were in charge that the place would be different," Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-South Carolina," said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.

Mulvaney explained that the group of conservative members is supporting Rep. Dan Webster, R-Florida, because he "was able to convince us that if he were the speaker, the House would be run differently, that members would have a chance to participate in the process --we don't have that now - [and] the committees would have the chance to do work. They don't have that opportunity now."

"We're looking for more of a process and principles than we are a person, but Paul certainly has a lot of respect across the Republicans in the House. I think he could also be a good Speaker," Mulvaney said.

The group has put forward a list of 21 questions for all Speaker of the House candidates to quiz them about policy questions, leadership practices and possible reforms. Mulvaney said the group knows where Ryan stands on most of the issues, but still said, "I think he should come and meet with us."

Face the Nation political panel: October 11 04:39

Many members are pressuring Ryan, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, to run to succeed Boehner now that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, has withdrawn from the race. Ryan has said he is not interested in running.

Mulvaney predicted that if he does run - and if he can win over the House Freedom Caucus - he would be able to get a significant amount of support among House Republicans. Still, he thought that getting the support of every single House Republican is "just not reasonable."

"If he decides he wants to do it that's great. And if he doesn't that's fine," Mulvaney said. "There's probably other people in our conference who could unite us. But certainly if we went down the list and said, okay, who could unite the party in the House? Certainly Paul comes right to the head of the list."

Donald Trump would be "okay" with Paul Ryan a... 02:01

He also weighed in on what Congress should do when the U.S. reaches the debt ceiling limit and needs to extend its borrowing authority in early November.

"The debt ceiling has traditionally been used as a way to sort of sit back and say 'okay how are we supposed to pay for this,'" Mulvaney said, comparing the process of appropriating money to Christmas and the debt ceiling to the period in late January and early February when bills are due.

"It's the right thing for us to do and stand back and say, 'okay now we ran up this debt and what are we going to do to try and make sure this doesn't happen again?'" He said. "I want it to be raised as part of a package that actually fixes the reason that we have a debt ceiling problem."

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for