Drama continues after House chaplain rescinds resignation letter requested by Ryan

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Making an attempt to quell the controversy, Ryan has accepted Conroy's choice to remain on the job saying they may meet subsequent week so as to "transfer ahead". "It is my job as speaker to do what is best for this body, and I know that this body is not well served by a protracted fight over such an important post".

The chaplain is elected by the full House and Democrats said Ryan does not have the power to fire him.

So far, all Rep Ryan has done is accept Father Conroy's move to undo his prior resignation. That letter accused a top Ryan staff aide of telling him "something like 'maybe it's time that we had a Chaplain that wasn't a Catholic'".

A senior GOP leadership aide maintained that "there was not a specific prayer" that led to Ryan's decision to request Conroy's resignation.


Ryan has told fellow Republicans that he wanted to oust the House chaplain, a Roman Catholic priest from the Jesuit arrangement, after complaints by associates that he wasn't undertaking a exact great career. He also mentioned displeasure that Ryan hadn't spoken to him directly but had his chief of staff ask for his resignation. His letter also said he was retracting the resignation "upon advice of counsel", potentially hinting that he might take legal action depending on what happened next.

Conroy's resignation sparked an uproar last week when it became known that he was asked to quit.

"This is not about politics or prayers, it's about pastoral services", he told The Weekly Standard.

Democrats contended for weeks that Conroy's dismissal was due to a prayer he delivered previous year as lawmakers prepared to begin consideration of tax reform - irking Republicans. Shortly after, he said in the interview with The Times, he was admonished by Mr. Ryan, who views the tax overhaul as his signature achievement. Instead, Conroy says top Ryan aide Jonathan Burks told him the speaker wanted his resignation, and cited a prayer past year that was potentially critical of the GOP tax bill. "Nonetheless, many distressing questions should nonetheless be answered in regards to the motivations behind Father Conroy's unwarranted and unjust dismissal".


Ryan received significant resistance from both parties over the move, including a letter from 148 House members. However, other explanations or theories for Controy's forced retirement quickly began to spring up, especially since neither Ryan nor any of his staff members offered any explanation for the apparent effort to push Conroy aside.

In a statement on Thursday, Ryan acknowledged Conroy's refusal to resign and said the chaplain could resume his service in Congress.

Last Friday, 147 Democrats and one Republican - Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, sent a letter to Ryan requesting information on his decision. Whatever the reason, though, the fact that Ryan has backed down is a strong indication that he was getting significant negative blowback from other members of the Republican Caucus over Controy's dismissal.


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