The US House of Representatives on Thursday voted to install Republican Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) as its new speaker, replacing John Boehner after a revolt by conservative lawmakers who forced his retirement.
Republicans put up a majority of at least 218 House votes to elect Ryan, putting him in charge of legislation that moves through the 435-member chamber and next in line to the US presidency after the vice president.
He ended up with 236 votes, while just nine Republicans voted against him.
“Let’s do this,” Ryan said via his Twitter account minutes after the vote tally became official. The tweet appeared to show him reviewing his first speech as speaker.
Ryan’s election was the culmination to more than a month of tumult within the House Republican conference.
“Let’s be frank: The House is broken,” he said in his introductory speech, alluding to the turbulence. “We’re not solving problems – we’re adding to them.”
Two weeks after Boehner announced his resignation, heir-apparent Kevin McCarthy (R-California), the House majority leader, unexpectedly dropped out of the race to succeed him. Ryan, initially reluctant, was drafted by a diverse group of Republicans who sought to end the disarray within the conference.
Ryan eventually threw his hat in the ring after numerous extensive meetings with each of the party’s various caucuses. He entered only after it was clear he had become a “unity candidate,” earning support from even the hard-line yet influential House Freedom Caucus.
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