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House GOP Elects Paul Ryan To Stay As Speaker

The House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has been unanimously nominated to resume his role. With a GOP majority in the House, Ryan is all but assured to be re-elected as Speaker in January.

On Nov. 15, Republican congressmen elected Ryan as their nominee for the January speakership vote. Shortly before the announcement, Ryan announced a new era of GOP control over Washington, D.C.

“Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government,” Ryan said, according to USA Today. “It feels really good to say that, actually. This will be a government focused on turning President-elect Trump’s victory into real progress for the American people. Our team is very excited, and we cannot wait to get to work.”

The role of House Speaker will be decided in January, when all members of the House will vote. Ryan would only need to win 218 votes to retain his speakership, and there will be 239 Republicans backing him.

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers have delayed their leadership elections, which will be decided a week after Thanksgiving. The Minority Leader, Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, will contend to keep her position while Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio has already thrown his hat into the ring.

After a rocky speakership throughout the 2016 presidential election, Ryan now finds himself in a position of having Trump and a Republican majority in the Senate to push through his legislative agenda. 

In October, Ryan had refused to defend Trump on the campaign trail after 2005 audiotape of the business mogul bragging about kissing and groping women without consent surfaced. Trump responded by blasting Ryan on social media and threatening the House Speaker’s standing in his own party, The Huffington Post reports.

“Paul Ryan, a man who doesn’t know how to win (including failed run four years ago), must start focusing on the budget, military, vets etc.,” Trump tweeted out in retaliation.

Following Trump’s stunning upset victory in the presidential election, the GOP now has full control over the U.S. government. The Politico Caucus, a panel of Republican insiders and strategists, hopes that Ryan will be the driving force of policy going forward.

In a poll, the Politico Caucus found that 65 percent of GOP insiders want Ryan to lead the agenda while only 35 percent want Trump to decide policy, Politico reports.

“Donald Trump and policy-making don’t really belong in the same sentence,” and Iowa Republican said. “Paul Ryan will make policy and Donald Trump can Make America Great Again.”

One Nevada Republican disagreed, asserting that Trump’s agenda won the election.

“Paul Ryan is elected by a small portion of Wisconsin voters,” the Nevada Republican said. “Trump has been elected by the country.”

Sources: The Huffington PostPoliticoUSA Today / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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