Ryan in line

Congressman Paul Ryan meeting Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan in Washington.

By Ray O’Hanlon

He has met with Irish government leaders, most recently Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan.

He has met with Irish immigration reform advocates.

So if Wisconsin GOP congressman and 2012 vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, does succeed John Boehner as Speaker of the House of Representatives there will be some reason to hope that, at some point, the congressional logjam over immigration reform might just give a little, if not exactly break wide open.

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At the very least, a Speaker Ryan would likely be sympathetic to fellow Wisconsin Republican Congressman, James Sensenbrenner, who told Minister Flanagan, during the latter’s recent visit to Washington, that he was sponsoring a standalone bill that would allow some Irish to obtain two year renewable E-3 visas.

These would be leftover visas not taken up by Australians.

Australia receives 10,000 visas annually from the E-3 scheme, the allocation dating from Australia’s participation in U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

That said, reports indicate that Rep. Ryan is reluctant to take the Speaker’s job given the present state of turmoil on Capitol Hill.

Already he is coming under fire from media pundits who are of the view that his politics do not lean right enough.

The speculation surrounding Ryan follows the shock announcement last week by California representative, and favorite for the speaker’s job, Kevin McCarthy, that he would not be pursuing the post.

McCarthy, contrary to critics of Ryan, has stated that he believes Ryan would be an “amazing speaker.”