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Paul Ryan’s Banished His Democratic Challenger To The Nosebleed Seats For The State Of The Union

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All eyes will be on President Donald Trump Tuesday evening as he gives his prepared remarks on the State of the Union. Well, all eyes except for maybe one pair that will be focused on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Randy Bryce, who is challenging Ryan in November for his House seat in the 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin, will be attending the State of the Union address as a guest of Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), who represents the neighboring 2nd Congressional District.

Bryce, who also goes by the nickname “Iron Stache,” made a splash in the summer of 2017 with his campaign commercial announcing his run. It instantly went viral, depicting Bryce as an “everyman” Army vet and iron worker who recognizes huge problems in Washington, much of them created by Republicans like Speaker Ryan.

The ad generated more than $430,000 in donations in its first 12 days online.

Not everyone is happy with Pocan’s decision to invite Bryce to the State of the Union. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who serves Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District, chastised his Democratic colleague.

Sensenbrenner called the invite “disrespectful and out of bounds.” But Pocan responded to the criticism, pointing out the hypocrisy by the GOP lawmaker.

“Republicans have zero credibility to discuss the state of political discourse in America or what is disrespectful,” Pocan said.

It is perhaps symbolic that the main challenger to the Speaker of the House will be in attendance, staring down at Ryan from the balcony above. Democrats have obvious qualms with Trump, who has proven his inability to lead as president. But they are also focusing their sites on Congress itself, and on taking back the legislative body in November — just as Bryce will have his focus set upon Ryan during the State of the Union.

That is the best way, after all, to counter Trump’s presidency, and bring an effective check on the commander-in-chief in the years ahead.


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