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Paul Ryan faces challenges as new Speaker

Republican, Paul Ryan, is not only the new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but also a vocal supporter of bipartisan legislation.

Criticisms of Ryan’s new position have poured in despite holding the job for less than a month. Republicans say he is not conservative enough because he is open to compromising with the Democrats, while Democrats criticize Ryan for his strong stance on issues like Planned Parenthood.

“I don’t think Planned Parenthood should get a red cent from taxpayers,” Ryan told CNN concerning the possibility of federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Though Ryan is not shy about his conservative stances, he still considers himself to be a moderate Republican who can bring both political parties together.

Phillip Todd, junior international business major, says he is in favor of Ryan’s position.

“Being a conservative, I like him because he lines up with a lot of conservative values. I cannot find any faults with him,” said Todd.

Megan Chapin, sophomore communication major, believes that it will be a tough struggle for Ryan to unite the Republican Party alone.

“It is hard trying to connect Republican factions, and he will not be able to stay a moderate for his entire time in office,” said Chapin.

Chapin pointed out that the former Speaker of the House, John Boehner, left the House in good condition for Ryan to take office.

“It is like Boehner left Ryan a going away gift. Ryan came in at a good time, because the budget was already passed,” said Chapin.

Other students on campus, like McKenzie Raub, senior history major, are excited to see what the new Speaker will do in the future.

“I’m glad we found someone, and I am interested to see what the new Speaker of the House will do,” said Raub.

The only disagreement Todd has with Ryan is his lack of a stance on immigration. Although Ryan said on CBS’s Face the Nation that he would not discuss the issue of immigration under the Obama administration, he still has yet to state his overall stance on the issue.

“I’m not completely sure where he stands on immigration. He has kind of distanced himself from the Republicans and the Democrats on the issue of immigration, but other than that I am hopeful to see what he does as Speaker of the House,” said Todd.

Todd, who is also the president of the College Republicans club at the University, says that more Christians should get involved in politics.

“Personally, I think everyone, Christians and non-Christians, should be involved in politics. The beauty of government is that it gives the people the power. If you disagree with something, you have the power to change it. It is our duty as Christians to be involved in the affairs of the state,” Todd said.

In addition, there is now an official College Democrats club on campus. Approved just last week, the College Democrats will host a debate-watching party this Saturday night. The event is open to non-members as well as those interested in joining the new club.

With clubs representing both of the two major political parties in the U.S., University students may see an increase in political discussion on campus. This is what Todd hopes to encourage.

“What I would like to do is open up a safe environment where it is purely intellectual discussions, and not a space driven by emotions. That way we can help people who don’t understand the impact of political issues, like Paul Ryan becoming the Speaker of the House,” said Todd.