Paul Ryan is being left out of negotiations between Donald Trump and Democratic leaders, leading to a public call-out to Trump to please work with his own party.
Speaker Paul Ryan has been left out in the cold as Donald Trump discusses a possible deal with Democratic leaders to solve the DACA issue, and he has now issued a public plea to Trump to remember his own party.
Speaking at his weekly press briefing, Ryan told reporters, "I think the president understands that he's going to have to work with the congressional majorities to get any kind of legislative solution."
Ryan also wanted to make it clear to the press that when Trump met with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, he "wasn't negotiating a deal" but was simply "talking with Democratic leaders to get their perspectives."
REPORTER: If President Trump and the Democrats do come up with a negotiated deal, are you prepared to put the package that the president negotiates with Democrats on the floor?
RYAN: The president wasn't negotiating a deal last night. The president was talking with Democratic leaders to get their perspectives.
REPORTER: But I'm saying, if they do, you said it's right and proper —
RYAN: Oh I think the president understands that he's going to have to work with the congressional majorities to get any kind of legislative solution.
Republicans have been rocked by the communications between the Democrats and Trump, in some cases, openly booing and hissing members of the Trump administration to protest the discussions.
Yet even as he made the odd public plea to the head of his own party to remember and acknowledge his existence, Ryan also sounded as if he was ready — like Trump — to bend the knee to Democrats.
In his entire press availability, Ryan did not mention the useless border wall between the United States and Mexico. This is the same Paul Ryan who, just a month and a half ago, released a strange video pushing for a border wall while showing Ryan riding horses with border agents.
Instead, Ryan repeatedly used the phrase "border security" rather than referring to a wall, which Democrats have said is off the table.
Just hours after dining with Trump, Schumer made this clear in a statement on the Senate floor.
"We Democrats are for border security," he said. "We’re not for the wall. We’ll never be for the wall. It’s expensive. It’s ineffective. And it involves a lot of difficult eminent domain — taking people’s property — and apparently, it’s not being paid for by Mexico."
He described the wall as "a medieval solution to a modern problem, a 'Game of Thrones' idea for a world that is a lot closer to 'Star Wars.'"
The rhetorical concession may simply be Ryan acknowledging the reality of his weak control over affairs in the House. He has had to scramble for votes on issues like spending, because many Republicans won't go along with him.
On the other side of the aisle, Pelosi does not have the same issues with being a weak leader as Ryan does. She has consistently been able to deliver her caucus on key issues, averting disasters like debt default while Republicans continue to dither.
And while House Republicans are at war with each other — and some conservatives are even calling for Ryan to lose his speakership — Pelosi has kept her Democratic caucus united.
Pelosi and Schumer are maneuvering around Ryan to get some of their key issues addressed, and even holding their noses to force Trump to cave to their demands. Meanwhile, Ryan is getting left out, and he's obviously frustrated by how things are developing.