Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan was nominated by his party on 28 October to become the next US speaker of the House of Representatives. The vote basically ensures that Ryan will become the replacement for outgoing Speaker John Boehner, who announced his surprise resignation in September.
Ryan, who announced his candidacy for the position just five days prior, received 200 votes of the 247-member GOP conference in the House, the Washington Post reported. The House will vote on 29 October to select the new speaker. Ryan responded to the nomination by calling it a "great honour" and saying: "This begins a new day in the House of Representatives."
Ryan continued: "Tomorrow, we are turning the page. We are not going to have a House that looks like it's looked for 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. 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."
The former running mate of Mitt Romney also thanked Boehner for his time as speaker, saying, "John Boehner served with humility and distinction, and we owe him a debt of gratitude." Ryan had the confidence of many within his party, with several members telling the Post that they only expect him to lose less than 20 votes on the floor on 28 October.
Leading up to his swearing in as speaker, the 45-year-old ultimately agreed to a controversial bipartisan fiscal deal negotiated by Boehner, saying the agreement would help "wipe the slate clean" as he takes up his new position. "It's time for us to turn the page on the last few years and get to work on a bold agenda that we can take to the American people," Ryan said.
According to the Post, Ryan has also endorsed a GOP conference review of existing rules and has pledged to implement the changes by January. He said: "It's clear that members of the House and the American people have lost faith in how this place works. And naming a new speaker alone isn't going to fix it. We need a robust dialogue about improving the process so that each member has a greater voice, and we need a firm deadline to implement changes."
Ryan, who previously supported immigration reform legislation, pledged to not pursue any immigration bill unless it has the majority support of House Republicans. The White House, meanwhile, said it hopes Ryan works towards uniting members across the aisle on different issues.
As speaker, Ryan will become the youngest to assume the post since before the Civil War, CNN noted. As a condition of his agreement to stand as speaker, Ryan said he would not give up his weekend family time and that he will ask that other Republican leaders help with fundraising trips and other key responsibilities, The New York Times reported.