Paul Ryan elected 62nd House speaker

Paul Ryan receives gavel from Nancy Pelosi as House speaker

It’s a big day for Rep. Paul Ryan.

The U.S. House of Representatives welcomes the Wisconsin Republican as the 62nd speaker of the House.

Largely a formality – after House Republicans nominated him for the position on Wednesday afternoon – Ryan won the support of 236 House members during Thursday morning’s vote.

After cinching the position, Ryan arrived on the House floor to a sea of applause. There both Republicans and Democrats joined in congratulating him on his position before House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, passed the gavel his way.

“It’s not till you hold this gavel and stand in this spot and look out and see all 435 members of the House – as if all of America was sitting right in front of you,” Ryan began his first speech as House Speaker. “It’s not till then that you feel it: the weight of responsibility, the gravity of the moment.”

Ryan continued, “I never thought I’d be the Speaker. But early in my life, I wanted to serve in the House. I thought the place was exhilarating – because here, you could make a difference. If you had a good idea and worked hard, you could make it happen. You could improve people’s lives. To me, the House represented the best of America: the boundless opportunity to do good.”

The GOP’s vice-presidential nominee in 2012 and the current chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the new House Speaker began his Capitol Hill career as a legislative aide in 1992 and won his Wisconsin House seat in 1998, at 28.

At just 45 years old, the reluctant leader is the youngest speaker since 1869.


Comments are closed.