Updated 4:25 p.m. | With a special GOP conference meeting scheduled for Tuesday night, members may finally learn what Paul D. Ryan is thinking. Sort of.
"I don't anticipate a final decision tonight," Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck told CQ Roll Call Tuesday. On Tuesday, even before the special GOP conference meeting scheduled for later that evening, Ryan was set to meet with House Freedom Caucus leaders, at the HFC's request.
"He’s always willing to talk with his colleagues," Doug Andres, a spokesman for Ryan, told CQ Roll Call.
A source close to Ryan told CQ Roll Call that if the Ways and Means chairman is asked Tuesday night whether he's open to running for speaker, he would probably offer some insight. The hint that Ryan would engage with the press is significant, since the Wisconsin Republican is famous for dodging journalists in the hallways — especially over the past couple of weeks.
But a hard commitment is not expected.
The wording in Buck's statement is key. While a "final decision" may depend on the conference's reaction to Ryan's announcement , it appears the nine-term congressman may finally be poised to move off of his long-standing position that the speakership isn't for him .
As sources close to Ryan have told CQ Roll Call in the past, Ryan may now be open to the position if it means he can unite a deeply divided Republican conference. And if he can't, Republicans could find themselves in an even more uncertain place.