WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Less than a day after Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said he will "gladly serve" as the next House speaker, conservatives may already be showing signs of division about the possibility of him taking the chamber's top post.
House Republicans, who have been at odds with each other for months, appeared united late Tuesday regarding Ryan's possible succession of departing leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio. Wednesday, though, cracks began to appear in the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
After a closed-door recruiting pitch late Tuesday, Ryan outlined his vision for leading the House and said he would only do so if every party caucus supported him in the leadership position. He gave them until Friday to issue unanimous support.
While Ryan appears to be the choice of moderate Republicans, the more conservative members -- those who advocated Boehner's ouster -- are the ones who appear to need convincing.
The main obstacle may be that some in the Freedom Caucus favor one of their own members, Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., over Ryan.
Analysts and some lawmakers have said they expect the party elections, set for Oct. 28, will easily put Ryan in the speaker post. However, Ryan said Tuesday that won't be enough for him to take the job. He said he wants the party's three main House factions -- which includes the Freedom Caucus -- to offer unanimous support.
Whether Ryan gets that support or not will become clear a day after the elections when the full House votes.
"I guess that's just Washington for you," Ryan told The Hill blog Wednesday.
However, division in the Freedom Caucus could ultimately disappear. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who was favored by at least one member of the caucus, withdrew from the race Tuesday and backed Ryan.
"I'm not sure that Paul Ryan could walk on water today," Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., who had supported Chaffetz, said after hearing Ryan's pitch Tuesday. "But give him 10 days."
Some House conservatives said Wednesday Ryan should not take the speaker job if he's not willing to work longer hours, weekends and spend more time away from his young family -- something the Wisconsin Republican appears reluctant to do.
"Hey look, I'm here four days a week as it is," Ryan told The Hill. "I'm not going to spend the other three days a week running around America."
"I don't think the speakership is a 9 to 5 job," Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, replied. "You've got to work on weekends."
Media had previously reported the Freedom Caucus wants substantial concessions from Ryan in exchange for its support. One of the concessions is giving more power to the House GOP's rank-and-file -- something Ryan said Tuesday he is willing to do.
One of Ryan's own demands, though, has not been widely accepted by the caucus -- a demand that would make it more difficult for conservatives to use procedural votes to ouster the House speaker. That same tactic enabled the Freedom Caucus to spur Boehner's departure and quell House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's bid to replace him.
Conservatives outside the House are not united in their support for Ryan, either.
Ryan said his stipulation for unanimous support is a direct result of the GOP infighting that has marred the House for months. The fighting is also something, analysts say, that could inflict even more damage on congressional Republicans in next year's elections.