Rep. Paul D. Ryan was elected the 54th speaker of the House Thursday and is ready to take on “a new day in the House of Representatives.” Ryan comes more than one month after Speaker John A. Boehner suddenly announced that he would be resigning.
Ryan won the support of 236 House members in the vote Thursday, securing the win, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) received 184 votes for speaker and Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) received 9 votes. The 45-year-old Republican from Wisconsin won the nomination of the House Republican majority Wednesday, The Washington Post reports.
Ryan officially became speaker after he took the oath of office administered by the dean of the House, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).
Following the vote, Ryan made his remarks, and he called for unity in the House, including unity among the divided Republican conference.
“Let’s pray for each other,” he said. “Republicans for Democrats, and Democrats for Republicans…And I don’t mean pray for conversion. Pray for a deeper understanding.”
Ryan admitted that the House “is broken.” “We are not settling scores,” Ryan said, “we are wiping the slate clean.”
His family–his wife Janna and his children Liza, Charlie and Sam–were looking on as he spoke of unity in the House along with Mitt Romney, who was seated in the speaker box.
“We have nothing to fear from honest difference honestly stated,” he said. “If you have ideas, let’s hear them. A greater clarity between us can lead to a greater clarity among us.”
Ryan agreed to running for the position after a small group of conservative members drove Boehner out of the spot last month. He proceeded to take the job from Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, as well, New York Times reports.
Ryan’s test will be whether he can manage the House Republican conference or if its members will get the best of him too. Ryan promised to take their process concerns seriously, but he warned he would not let anything undermine his ability to lead.
Boehner, 65, entered the job as a leader who attempted to appease the Tea Party members, whose elections aided in getting Republicans into the majority. Ryan comes in informing those members that he expects to have their support.
He is the youngest Speaker since the aftermath of the Civil War in 1869. Ryan is also the first speaker to be elected in the middle of a congressional term since 1989 when Thomas Foley of Washington succeeded Jim Wright of Texas.
He’s known for the “Ryan budget,” an austerity blueprint that has led GOP thinking, as well as for his murderous P90X workouts, his love of hard rock music and his preference for Miller beer.
Boehner left his some successor some parting words and advice, which were a little sad. “This is the loneliest place in the world, almost as lonely as the presidency,” Boehner said during an exit interview with reporters, seated in a leather wingback chair in his second-floor office overlooking the National Mall.
“What makes it even lonelier is, you realize at the end of the day, you got to make decisions, and those decisions have consequences, and those consequences fall back on one person,” he continued. “So it’s something that takes a little getting used to.”