Paul Ryan prepares to ascend to speaker; pile of mess awaits

The honeymoon might be over before it even begins for House Speaker-in-waiting Paul Ryan when he’s elevated to the top job this coming week.

The Wisconsin Republican would take over at a moment of chaos notable even for a Congress where crisis has become routine.

Lawmakers are barreling toward a Nov. 3 deadline to raise the federal borrowing limit or face an unprecedented government default. There’s no plan in sight for averting it.

Crucial highway funding authority is about to expire, requiring a short-term extension that no one supports.

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And early December will bring another chapter in the government shutdown wars, with a must-pass deadline for spending legislation a ripe opportunity for brinksmanship.

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