WASHINGTON — Rep. Paul Ryan has officially been elected as the 54th Speaker of the House after he got the votes of 236 members by the full House of Representatives.
The vote was largely a formality after House Republicans nominated him for the position on Wednesday.
But even some conservatives who did not support Ryan said that after weeks of infighting, they were eager to move on and give Ryan the space to unite the party’s various factions and craft a legislative agenda.
The 45-year-old Wisconsin Republican first worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide in 1992 and won his House seat in 1998 when he was 28.
He became known as a policy wonk and attracted national attention for his sweeping proposals to overhaul Medicare and restructure the tax code. In 2012, Mitt Romney picked Ryan to be his running mate on the GOP ticket. After Republicans lost that election, he returned to the House and ruled out running for president in 2016, instead settling into what he called his “dream job” as chairman of the House tax writing committee.
With the speaker’s title, Ryan takes on a national profile and the difficult challenge of corralling what has been an unruly and divided House GOP conference.
According to an aide familiar with his plans, in his first speech as speaker, Ryan’s message to his colleagues will be, “We have nothing to fear from honest differences honestly stated. If you have ideas, let’s hear them. A greater clarity between us can lead to a greater charity among us.”