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House Republicans Nominate Paul Ryan For Speaker

Rep. Paul Ryan told House Republicans he would only serve as speaker if they would embrace him as a consensus candidate.
Rep. Paul Ryan told House Republicans he would only serve as speaker if they would embrace him as a consensus candidate.

This post was updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

House Republicans have voted to elect Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan as the party's nominee to serve as the next speaker of the House.

"This begins a new day in the House of Representatives," Ryan said, speaking briefly to reporters after Wednesday's vote. "Tomorrow, we are turning the page. We are not going to have a House that looked like it looked the last few years. ... Our party has lost its vision and we're going to replace it with a vision."

Perhaps no lawmaker in history has wanted the job less than Ryan. He publicly declined to run for speaker at least three times this year. He wanted to remain a committee chairman with oversight over the nation's tax laws.

Current Speaker John Boehner announced his intent to resign late last month. The last time Republicans tried to elect their next speaker of the House on Oct. 8, the meeting ended in chaos after the front-runner, Kevin McCarthy, suddenly withdrew.

It then became apparent that Ryan was the only House Republican who could get the votes to win. After pressure from Republican leaders, he relented and joined the race.

Ryan faces token opposition from Florida Republican Daniel Webster. The conservative House Freedom Caucus had endorsed him but a majority of members later voiced support for Ryan.

Now that Ryan has his party's nomination, it will go before the full House for a vote on Thursday.

He needs a majority of the 435-member House to secure the gavel.

Boehner's resignation will be official as soon as that election concludes.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Amita Kelly is a Washington editor, where she works across beats and platforms to edit election, politics and policy news and features stories.
Susan Davis is a congressional correspondent for NPR and a co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She has covered Congress, elections, and national politics since 2002 for publications including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal and Roll Call. She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss congressional and national politics, and she is a contributor on PBS's Washington Week with Robert Costa. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Philadelphia native.