Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was officially nominated to the position of speaker of the House of Representatives Wednesday by the Republican Party after weeks of chaos as the GOP struggled to agree on a candidate. The Wisconsin congressman was initially reticent to run, citing a desire to put his family first. But he stepped up to the task in the past week, saying he would make the necessary sacrifices in order to take on the leadership role.
The position became vacant after John Boehner, R-Ohio, stepped down in September following continued fracturing within his own party -- particularly from opposition tea party representatives. After several candidates for speaker, including majority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., either refused the position or were unable to garner enough support, GOP leadership turned to Ryan.
Ryan has accepted the nomination, and the vote is slated to take place Thursday.
— ABC News (@ABC) October 28, 2015
Ryan became a household name in 2012 when he ran for vice president as the running mate of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, gaining support from many GOP members.
"He is a great team builder, consensus builder, even though he has very clear ideas of his own," said Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who worked closely with Ryan during his time in Congress. "He works very well with others, and I think that is going to serve him very well in a tough job,” he told the Associated Press.
The congressman from Wisconsin was first elected in 1998, and in his nearly two decades in the House of Representatives, he has made a name for himself as a conservative Republican, concerned with defending traditional values and ensuring a safe fiscal future for the country. He currently serves as the chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, the tax-writing branch of the House of Representatives.
“This begins a new day in the House of Representatives,” Ryan said Wednesday after accepting the nomination. “Tomorrow we are not going to have a House that looked like it did the last few years. We are going to move forward; we are going to unify.”