U.S. Representative Paul Ryan Serving as Speaker of the House of Representatives
Paul Ryan, from Wisconsin, was officially elected as the 54th speaker of the House after he received the votes of 236 members by the full House of Representatives. Ryan was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, the youngest of four children of Elizabeth A. "Betty" (née Hutter) and Paul Murray Ryan, a lawyer. A fifth-generation Wisconsinite, his father was of Irish ancestry and his mother is of German and English ancestry. One of Ryan's paternal ancestors settled in Wisconsin prior to the Civil War. His great-grandfather, Patrick William Ryan (1858–1917), founded an earthmoving company in 1884, which later became P. W. Ryan and Sons and is now known as Ryan Incorporated Central. Ryan's grandfather, Stanley M. Ryan, was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.
House Republicans had nominated Ryan for the speaker position on Wednesday, so the vote was expected to bring this result for Ryan. Even some conservatives who did not support Ryan said they were eager to move on. Ryan had lost 43 votes in the House GOP internal election just the previous day, but only nine House Republicans voted against him on the House floor. Ryan praised Boehner, and urged Republican and Democrats to come together and even pray for each other. He is the third Catholic in the position, following on from Boehner and Nancy Pelosi. Before officially handing him the gavel, Pelosi congratulated Ryan and reminded us that his path to the speakership position went from serving as a young aide and "a Tortilla Coast waiter," as he used to work in a restaurant just steps from the Capitol.
He could bring some much-needed new ideas to the position, along with a spirit of forgiveness and generosity. With the speaker's title, Ryan takes on a national profile and the difficult challenge of gathering together an historically unruly and divided House GOP conference. In his first speech he said the constant drama wasn't what the American people wanted and encouraged everyone to move beyond it. "We are not solving problems. We are adding to them. And I am not interested in laying blame. We are not settling scores. We are wiping the slate clean," Ryan said.
After Ryan delivered his maiden speech as Speaker he went to shake hands with his colleagues, including one who voted against him. He was still holding his own Bible which he had placed his hand on to take the oath of office. Ryan is a popular choice amongst Republicans and Democrats alike, and so much is expected of him. At age 45, he is also the youngest speaker to be elected since 1869.
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