Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan says he’d ‘probably’ be a ‘royal pain in the ass’ in the Senate, doesn’t commit to supporting Sen. Chuck Schumer as caucus leader

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Ohio Democratic Senate nominee Tim Ryan speaks at the Tri-County Labor Council Community Awards Dinner in Fairlawn, Ohio, on October 21, 2022.

  • Rep. Tim Ryan said he’d “probably” be a “royal pain in the ass” if elected to the Senate next month.
  • Ryan made the comment during an interview with Politico, where he remarked on his tight Senate race.
  • The lawmaker also told Politico that he was unsure if he’d back Chuck Schumer as Democratic leader.

Ohio Democratic Senate nominee Tim Ryan says he would “probably” be a “royal pain in the ass” for Democratic leadership if he were to be elected to the upper chamber next month, according to Politico.

Ryan, a ten-term congressman who’s been locked in a tight Senate contest with Republican nominee JD Vance for months, told Politico that he wouldn’t be “beholden” to any one individual.

Ryan also said he was unsure if he’d want Sen. Chuck Schumer to continue leading the caucus, and suggested that his stance might explain why national Democrats have not stepped in and aided his campaign with a significant financial investment.

“I will get to the Senate and be beholden to absolutely nobody, right? And I will be, probably, a royal pain in the ass when I get there. And that may be a reason why we’re not getting help,” he told the publication.

When the congressman was asked if he’d back Schumer, the powerful New York lawmaker who currently serves as majority leader in the 50-50 Senate, he responded: “I don’t know if I’m going to vote for Chuck Schumer.”

Schumer is able to control the Senate floor by virtue of 48 Democrats, Independent Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, and the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. 

Since January 2021, Democrats have had to remain unified in order to pass big-ticket items like the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act, utilizing the budget reconciliation process to skirt the 60-vote legislative filibuster in the face of unified GOP opposition.

However, Democrats over the past year hit significant stumbling blocks with moderate Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who have secured major concessions in order for Biden’s agenda to pass.

In Manchin’s case, his opposition to the social spending-driven Build Back Better Act effectively scuttled the bill last December.

Chuck Schumer
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

Ryan hopes to replace outgoing two-term Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a conservative lawmaker who played a key role in crafting the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was championed by President Joe Biden and signed into law last November.

As Ryan has campaigned across Ohio, he has spoken out against some of his party’s leaders, including President Joe Biden.

When Ryan was asked during a debate earlier this month if Biden should seek reelection in 2024, he threw cold water on the idea.

“No, I’ve been very clear. I’d like to see a generational change,” the congressman said at the time.

“Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, the president, everybody. We need a new generation of leadership,” he added.

Biden has not yet formally announced his intentions for 2024, but according to recent reports, he is planning to run again.

While Ryan has not been keen on stumping on the campaign trail with Biden, the lawmaker did make a public appearance with Manchin last week after the West Virginian attended a forum concerning contamination from a former uranium enrichment plant in southern Ohio.

Manchin wasn’t in Ohio for an official campaign visit, but he still touted Ryan’s candidacy while speaking with the press after the forum, according to Bloomberg.

“If you want to basically make the Senate work, we don’t need anybody from the extremes,” Manchin said. “That’s what I’m asking the people in Ohio: Give us somebody that’ll work in the middle, that’s not afraid to say, ‘Hey, the Republicans are right on that issue.'”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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