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Jody Hice Bucks the Tea Party, Backs Paul Ryan


Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file

Jody might want to put some Hice on that when the tea party gets through with him.

Rep. Jody Hice, the Walton County Republican who represents Athens, told the AJC on Tuesday that he intends to support Rep. Paul Ryan for speaker in today’s Republican caucus election and Thursday’s floor vote..

“Most people are aware that he’s going to be the next speaker unless something unforeseen happens, so my focus has been on hearing from Paul and talking with him, and I have been extremely pleased with those conversations. …

“We’ve received some solid promises for genuine institutional reform, and at the end of the day that’s what we’re after, some changes around here. …

“Now is a time for unity. I think it’s a time for us to come together. I think the American people want that, and I know on this end there have been tremendous efforts taken to come to that.”

Ryan, the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and 2012 vice-presidential candidate, has emerged as the consensus choice to replace House Speaker John Boehner, except for a few holdouts who support the even more conservative Rep. Daniel Webster (R-WV). (In the far-right world of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, the very conservative Ryan is viewed as a traitor to the conservative cause.)

Hice represents one of the most conservative districts in the country, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of blowback he gets from the right wing of the GOP. The tea party pitched a fit when Hice, who had just taken office, violated a campaign promise by voting for John Boehner for speaker.

The Washington Post recently ran an article about the abuse the tea party is heaping on members of the Freedom Caucus—the tea party successor to which Hice belongs—who are voting for Ryan.

There are lots of anti-Ryan comments on Hice’s Facebook page, but he (read: an intern) hasn’t posted since Monday, so there hasn’t been a lot of recent activity.