GOP Blocks Investigation Of Chaplain's Firing By Ryan

Lawmakers seek answers after Ryan asked House chaplain to resign

Lawmakers seek answers after Ryan asked House chaplain to resign

The fiasco culminated on Friday when Rep. Joe Crowley, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, triggered a vote with a privileged resolution that would have created a select committee to investigate Conroy's dismissal.

Soon afterward, when he saw Ryan, Father Conroy said the speaker told him, "Padre, you just got to stay out of politics". Ryan, who is Roman Catholic, has announced that he will not be seeking re-election in the fall and the House operates nearly completely on a partisan basis. Nevertheless, the move has angered members of both parties.

Conroy "was responsive to me and my sons after the shooting past year", said Rep. Joe Barton, whose sons were present during the shooting in Virginia.

The lawmaker, a Baptist minister, told reporters on Friday that 'Having spent 16 years in ministry as a pastor, there are things that you are able to understand that families go through in dealing with.

Madison anticipated arguments like Paul Ryan's stated excuse in firing Father Patrick Conroy for not meeting the pastoral needs of House members.

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Vanity Fair quipped that the prayer amounted to "tax-cut" blasphemy in Ryan's world. And the speaker said it was just because certain people said he was not complying with their request or was not giving good counsel. "So I never heard any of these complaints before".

His resignation letter said he was offering to step down at Ryan's request, calling his seven years of House service 'one of the great privileges of my life'.

Members of the U.S. Congress find little to agree on these days, not even who should lead them in prayer.

The chaplain's job is to "perform ceremonial, symbolic, and pastoral duties", including opening House sessions with a prayer or coordinating the delivery of the prayer by guest chaplains recommended by members of the House. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat, is said to be working on a discharge petition to prevent Conroy's resignation.

A bipartisan group of House members is drafting a letter to Ryan, asking that he explain why he asked Conroy to resign.

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"As legislation on taxes continues to be debated this week and next, may all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle", Conroy said during the daily prayer.

Lawmakers are at odds about why Rev. Patrick Conroy, a Jesuit priest, was forced to resign.

According to an April 15 letter made public this week, Conroy wrote to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan: "As you have requested, I hereby offer my resignation as the 60th Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives". Last November, Conroy prayed for lawmakers to make sure that "there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans".

WALTER JONES: Oh, yeah, I spoke to him yesterday on the floor. She said Ryan consulted with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on the firing and that Pelosi could have blocked it, if she wished.

The House rejected the proposal 215-171, in part because the resolution used partisan language and referred to the tax law as the "GOP tax scam".

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If that's what Walker is saying, "then no Catholic priest would ever serve as the spiritual reverend here to the House of Representatives" Crowley said.

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