Paul Ryan Elected 62nd Speaker of the House of Representatives
Paul Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin, was elected to the position of speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday morning. Ryan replaces outgoing speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), who announced his decision to retire several weeks ago.
Ryan garnered 236 votes of support, with only 11 Republicans choosing to vote for someone else. (Daniel Webster of Florida received nine votes; Jim Cooper of Tennessee received one, as did former Secretary of State Colin Powell.) It is a sign of strength for Ryan that he won support from nearly the entire GOP conference, even a strong majority of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 conservative lawmakers largely responsible for forcing out Boehner.
At 45 years old, Ryan will become the youngest speaker since 1869. He is a well-known figure in politics, having run on the Republican presidential ticket as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee in the 2012 election. Ryan has previously served in the House as chairman of the Budget and Ways and Means committees. His elevation to speaker puts him second in line to the presidency, following only the vice president.
It will be up to Ryan now to bring his fellow Republicans together, after years of internal strife under Boehner. His prepared remarks show his intentions: “We have nothing to fear from honest differences honestly stated. If you have ideas, let’s hear them. A greater clarity between us can lead to a greater charity among us.”
Note: the video above contains Ryan’s remarks following his nomination on Wednesday.