Rep. Jim Jordan, a top conservative lawmaker, disputed that there is any movement inside the Freedom Caucus to oust House Speaker Paul Ryan or seek a change in leadership.
Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters late Thursday afternoon that despite a report in the Washington Post suggesting a whisper campaign by conservatives to oust Ryan, R-Wis., from his speakership, the Freedom Caucus is not pushing for a change in leadership at this time.
"No one's talking about that," Jordan, a leading member of the Freedom Caucus, said. "We're focused on getting done what we said we were going to do with all the members of Congress ... It's not coming from the Freedom Caucus."
Jordan notably declined to say whether he supported Ryan as speaker, repeating that "no one's talking about any of that." He did, however, take aim at leadership for deciding for taking a six-week-long break during the August recess.
The Freedom Caucus took an official position earlier in the summer calling for members not to go home during the break and instead stay in Washington to make headway on the GOP agenda after the failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.
"Nine weeks ago ... we had a press conference where we said don't go home until we figure out the outlines of a tax plan — actual rates and numbers. Don't go home until we deal with Obamacare, and don't go home until we have a plan on the debt ceiling," Jordan said. "We just took the longest break we've taken in ten years in a non-election year — almost six weeks. We left on July 28 and came back Sept. 5. Really? That makes absolutely no sense and the American people know it makes no sense ... That is the frustrating part, and I'm frustrated with that, and I know folks back home are."
The comments come a day after Trump sided with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., over Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in agreeing to a three-month debt ceiling deal that run through Dec. 8. McConnell and Ryan preferred an 18-month extension.
"Lack of preparation doesn't always produce the best results, and lack of preparation doesn't always give you the best choices, and that's what happened yesterday," Jordan said of the outcome.
Some conservatives are reportedly floating former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., as potential replacements for Ryan as speaker. Although unprecedented, the House speaker technically does not have to be a member of the body.