WASHINGTON (AP) — The job of leading House Republicans may have gone from difficult to impossible.
After two tumultuous weeks that saw the current speaker announce his resignation and his heir apparent abruptly pull out of the running, House Republicans are in disarray as they confront a leadership vacuum. And the only person widely deemed fit to fill it is a lawmaker who says he doesn't want to, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and the party's 2012 vice presidential nominee.
Even as they plead with Ryan to reconsider, Republicans are left asking themselves whether anyone can lead them. And even if Ryan does yield to their entreaties, some question whether even he could tame a House GOP that seems fractured beyond repair, with a "hell no" caucus ready to risk crises and government shutdowns to achieve its goals and establishment-minded lawmakers seemingly powerless to do anything about it.
"It is bad," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. "We cannot allow 35 or 40 people to hijack the party and blackmail the Congress. We have to get things done."
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