- Paul Ryan elected Speaker
- November 4, 2015
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
On Thursday, after weeks of tumult over who would lead the GOP, the House formally elected Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) - Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee - as Speaker of the House. Despite opposition to Ryan from some outside groups, just nine Republicans voted against him on the floor of the House.
Ryan will succeed John Boehner (R-OH), who handed the gavel off to Ryan in a teary exit from Congress this week.
In his speech accepting the position of Speaker, Ryan acknowledged the challenges he faces and the institutional gridlock that has crippled Congress. However, Ryan said he wasn’t interested in “settling scores,” but was instead “wiping the slate clean.”
While Ryan touched on some policy prescriptions - growing the economy, paying down the national debt, strengthening the military, and shrinking government - he spent much of his speech talking about process in the House.
In what was seen as a direct appeal to the 40 or so Freedom Caucus members, Ryan said he wanted a more open process, one that encourages contributions from all members, and that he wants to empower the committee process. Ryan also talked about a “return to regular order,” a phrase we have heard many times from all ideological stripes of Republicans over the last few years.
Ryan said, “a neglected minority will gum up the works. A respected minority will work in good faith. Instead of trying to stop the majority, they might try to become the majority.”
Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) received the other nine Republican votes for Speaker, despite his efforts to get his supporters to vote for Ryan on the floor. The nine holdouts were Reps. Dave Brat, Curt Clawson, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Walter Jones, Thomas Massie, Bill Posey, Randy Weber, and Ted Yoho.
About Paul Ryan:
Congressman Ryan was born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin and is currently serving in his ninth term as a member of Congress.
Ryan was the vice presidential running mate of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney (R-MA), and also previously chaired the House Budget Committee. As Budget Chair, Ryan was author of the GOP’s “Path to Prosperity.” The Path to Prosperity was his plan to balance the budget by cutting spending, reforming entitlements, and simplifying the tax code.
Ryan currently serves as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee where he has been focused on the issue of tax reform and simplification.
Ryan has a degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio. He and his wife, Janna, live in Janesville with their three children.