After a head-spinning few weeks of uncertainty, the House of Representatives has elected Paul Ryan as its 54th Speaker. And, almost as quickly as he took the gavel from John Boehner, Ryan promised to try to heal deep divisions within the chamber. Fox News Correspondent Joel Waldman has more from Washington.
At just forty-five years old, Ryan is the youngest Speaker to lead the House in one hundred forty years, but despite his age, he’s setting some pretty lofty goals. Ryan says “The house is broken. We are not settling scores we are wiping the slate clean.” Newly elected House Speaker, Paul Ryan, calling for a fresh start during very divisive times. The Wisconsin Congressman won the speakership easily, receiving two hundred thirty-six of the four hundred thirty-two votes cast. With minority leader Nancy Pelosi getting one hundred eighty-four and Conservative favorite, Daniel Webster, reeling in nine votes.
Ryan’s ‘to-do list’ includes fixing the tax code, growing the economy and paying down the debt. Ryan said, ‘We will not duck the tough issues, we will take them head on.” It’s been a congressional rollercoaster ride over the last few weeks. John Boehner, increasingly feeling pressure from conservatives within his own party, shocked Washington by resigning mid-term. Then his deputy, Kevin McCarthy, dropped out of the race fearing he couldn’t get the two hundred eighteen votes necessary to win. A teary-eyed Boehner said he never worried things wouldn’t work themselves out. Boehner says, “Hope always springs eternal.”
Ryan’s first real test will be trying to clear the path for a long-term Highway Funding Bill, which Congress only has a few weeks to come together on. In Washington, Joel Waldman, Fox News.
U.S. Representative Ron Kind had this reaction to Paul Ryan becoming Speaker of the House, saying quote, “As badgers we are proud of Paul, who will be the first speaker of the House of Representatives from Wisconsin. Paul and I have worked together to put the needs of Wisconsinites first and I look forward to continuing that.”
While Paul Ryan settles into his first day on the job, back in western Wisconsin, local Democrats and Republicans are weighing in on the new Speaker of the House. The Chair of the local Republican Party says he is hopeful that Ryan can restore order and get Washington back to business. He says Paul Ryan brings a new energy to the role along with experience from his former role as Chair of the Weighs and Means Committee.
Mike Conlin, Chair of the Eau Claire Republican Party says, “Hopefully he can bring everybody in the Republican Party and maybe a few Democrats to the table and hopefully get some things accomplished” While Republicans are hopeful for the future, local Democratic Representative Dana Wachs says Paul Ryan needs to work across the aisle to fix Washington. Wachs said, “It’s exciting in some respects to have someone from Wisconsin be Speaker but let’s hope he can do something about the gridlock out there. He needs to work with our President.”