Paul Ryan Nominated for Speaker of the House

Empty seats in the Congressional hall.

Image: Shutterstock

Republican representative Paul Ryan has clinched the party’s nomination to be the next Speaker of the House. The full House of Representatives was set to officially approve the nomination on Thursday. Current Speaker John Boehner will step down from the position today.

Ryan initially said that he was not interested in being the new Speaker, but eventually agreed to run if he had enough backing from other party members. Ryan also wanted to be sure that he would get enough time to himself to spend with his wife and children, stating that he “might not be on the road as much as previous speakers.”

He received 200 votes from the floor, defeating fellow candidate Daniel Webster (R-FL), who received only 43 votes. Previously, Republican California representative Kevin McCarthy was slated to succeed Boehner, but in a surprise announcement he said that he would withdraw from the race.

As speaker, Ryan hopes to change conference rules so members have more power in the legislative process. He seemed a clear choice among Republicans as the new Speaker. Representative Devin Nunes, R-CA, says that Ryan is “really a thought leader for the Republican Party. We’ve been operating under his blueprints and he’s one of the best communicators that we’ve had—equal or even greater to Newt Gingrich.”

Ryan may face opposition as he transitions, CNN suggests, because other GOP members may believe that Ryan is not conservative enough. Ryan has received some criticism in the past for his stance on paid family leave as he sought to ensure he would get to spend more time with his own family if he became the new Speaker, a move that many felt was hypocritical.

Announcing just before the vote on a debt ceiling deal that he would support it, Ryan may have a fraught but hopefully productive career before him. He will face many more challenges, and may he rise to meet them.

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