GOP Lawmakers Confront Paul Ryan For Firing House Chaplin, Dems Demand Investigation
Multiple Republican House members confronted Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday morning at their caucus meeting over the firing of the House chaplain. Rev. Pat Conroy was forced out of his job after praying for no “winners and losers” under the GOP tax law.
One of the members who brought up concerns was New York Republican Rep. Pete King, who said afterward that Ryan’s explanation for asking the Rev. Pat Conroy, a Jesuit priest, to resign was “unsatisfactory,” according to CNN.
“To me it was an unsatisfactory answer,” King told the news network. “It is such an unprecedented action to be to only be taken for very, very serious issues. And the speaker said it was just because certain people said he was not complying with their request or was not giving good counsel. I never heard that from anyone. Anyone who I know who deals with him has the highest regard for him.”
Conroy resigned April 15 after he spent nearly seven years praying at the outset of House sessions. It’s not immediately clear why Conroy was asked to resign and several prominent Democratic lawmakers want to know more information as to why the Jesuit priest was asked to step down.
New York Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley offered a privileged resolution on the House floor, trying to force investigation about firing of the chaplain.
Crowley’s proposal would have created a six-member committee ― three Republicans and three Democrats ― to look at what happened.
But the House voted to reject his proposal, 215 to 171. Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) were the only Republicans who voted with Democrats to create the committee. Three Republicans voted “present”: Reps. Tom Rooney, David Joyce and Scott Taylor.
A GOP aide with a sense of the Republican conference told HuffPost that the resolution would have passed if it didn’t include the partisan language Democrats put in it. Crowley’s resolution twice refers to the Republican tax plan as the “GOP tax scam.”
Here’s a copy of the resolution:
The speaker’s office won’t say why Ryan fired Conroy, who has been the House chaplain since 2011. His last day will be May 24.