Speaker-designate Paul Ryan was elected to be Speaker of the House by the full House on Thursday. He won with 236 votes, all from Republicans. He won the votes of all Republicans, except for eleven. Nine Republicans supported Representative Daniel Webster (R-FL) who was actively running for Speaker and Ryan and Webster both abstained from voting. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi received 184 votes. Three Democrats voted for someone else and Rep. Gregory Meeks did not vote after suffering a mild heart attack.
The Republican conference was more unified in public than in private. 43 Republicans voted against Ryan in the conference vote while only nine voted against him in the full House vote.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi handed Ryan his Speaker’s gavel after being elected. As the sole former Speaker in the House, Pelosi is the person who awards the gavel to the winner. She did so when Speaker Boehner was elected Speaker at the beginning of each term. Ryan’s gavel is the same one that he used for the Ways and Means Committee, the committee he previously chaired. Ryan had described that job as his “dream job” and he was reluctant to give up the post and run for Speaker.
2012 Republican presidential nominee and former Governor Mitt Romney was in attendance for the ceremony with his wife, Ann. Romney picked Ryan as his running mate in 2012 and the two grew close.
On Twitter, Romney touted that he got the first selfie with the new Speaker.
I got the first #SpeakerSelfie. pic.twitter.com/IF92lXMkw7
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) October 29, 2015
Ryan’s digital outreach has reflected his new job. His previous Twitter handle, @RepPaulRyan, is now @SpeakerRyan. Speaker.Gov has been updated to reflect the new Speaker. The content from Speaker Boehner’s tenure still exists, however.
Speaker Ryan gave a speech after being elected. He urged his fellow House members to come together and work with one another. So if you ever pray, pray for each other— Republicans for Democrats, Democrats for Republicans,” he said. He then followed up with a joke, “And I don’t mean pray for a conversion.” He also pledged a more organic process, with policy originating from the members. “We have nothing to fear from honest differences honestly stated. If you have ideas, let’s hear them,” he stated.