Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has been officially nominated for the Speaker of the House position by the GOP.
Ryan was initially hesitant to take the job, but he was a favorite to replace current Speaker John Boehner of Ohio after Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California rescinded his candidacy for the position. In a vote behind closed doors, Ryan won within 200 votes - McCarthy and Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee each received one vote and Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida received 43, The Hill reported.
“Tomorrow, we are turning the page. We are not going to have a House that looks like it’s looked the last few years. We are going to move forward, we are going to unify. Our party lost its vision, and we are going to replace it with a vision,” Ryan said, according to The Washington Post. “We think the country is headed in the wrong direction, and we have an obligation here in the people’s house to do the people’s business to heal this country.”
Ryan’s nomination is a rare show of unity for House republicans, who have become increasingly splintered in recent years. “Our party has lost its vision, and we are going to replace it with a vision,” Ryan said.
Despite the resounding support, Ryan fell 18 votes short of the number needed to obtain the Speaker position because the Freedom Caucus backed Webster. Ryan had said before he wouldn’t take the job without the caucus’ support because they’ve proven willing to fight against GOP leadership to stand by their hard-line brand of conservatism, but after the Oct. 28 vote, they pledged their support.
“Our group had endorsed Webster in conference and we’re supporting Ryan on the floor,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep.Jim Jordan of Ohio told The Hill after the vote. “We actually do what we say we’re going to do.”
Ryan will likely be officially elected as Speaker of the House in a public floor vote on Oct. 29.