What Is Paul Ryan Outraged About Now?

Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA

Politics has gotten to the point that I literally don’t understand it anymore. This is from the Washington Post this morning:

The House bill does not include language to raise the debt ceiling ahead of a late-September deadline, a relief to conservatives who oppose linking the two issues. But that doesn’t mean the lower chamber will ultimately avoid such a vote: Senate Republican leaders said they plan to attach a debt-ceiling hike to Harvey aid despite conservative opposition.

Democratic leaders offered support for a combined package on Wednesday provided it only raises the debt ceiling for three months, a plan that would allow the minority party to maintain leverage on issues like government spending, health care and protections for immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, known as “dreamers,” before the end of the year.

….Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) called the offer a “ridiculous idea”….“Let’s just think about this: We’ve got all this devastation in Texas. We’ve got another unprecedented hurricane about to hit Florida, and they want to play politics with the debt ceiling? … I think that’s ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment when we have fellow citizens in need, to respond to these hurricanes so we do not strand them,” Ryan told a news conference on Wednesday.

Let me get this straight. House Republicans don’t want any debt ceiling increase at all tied to Harvey aid. Senate Republicans do want a debt ceiling increase tied to Harvey aid. Democrats are offering to support the Senate bill as long as the debt ceiling increase is only for three months.

What exactly is Paul Ryan outraged about? Does he think Democrats should reject any debt ceiling increase? Does he think they should accept a longer debt ceiling increase? What would constitute not playing politics with Harvey aid?

Maybe my brain has turned to mush, but I don’t get this. I can only assume that Ryan is pretending to be outraged because it makes good theater. Nothing else really makes sense.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.