Paul Ryan elected new House speaker

Alex Hanson

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is officially the new Speaker of the House following Thursday’s floor election.

Ryan, who needed a majority of members to vote for him, won support from 236 members. Most Democrats voted for former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who ended up winning support from 184 members. 

Nine Republicans broke from their party and voted for U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla. Webster won support early on the House Freedom Caucus, a group of 30-40 conservative Republicans.

During the original Speaker election in January, Iowa Republican Reps. Steve King and Rod Blum broke from their party and voted against Boehner, but voted for Ryan this time.

Iowa U.S. Rep. David Young voted for Ryan, while Rep. Dave Loebsack, the only Democrat in Iowa’s congressional delegation voted for Pelosi.

Ryan replaces U.S. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, who announced he would step down as Speaker and resign at the end of the month.

“Paul is being called to serve, and I know he will serve that calling with grace and energy,” Boehner said during his farewell speech. “I wish him, and his family, all the best.”

Blum explained his vote in a press release:

“Today I was proud to support my colleague and fellow Midwesterner Paul Ryan for Speaker of the House,” Blum said. “There are serious issues with how Washington operates and after many meetings with Speaker Ryan I believe that he shares those concerns and will work hard to make the House of Representatives a place where each and every House member is heard and the American people are truly represented. I look forward to working with him to articulate a vision for our party and to tackle the many tough issues facing our country.”

Loebsack congratulated Ryan follow the vote.

“I want to congratulate Paul Ryan on his selection as the Speaker of the House,” Loebsack said. “It is my hope that Speaker Ryan will be the leader of the entire House, not just the Republican Party. While we may not always see eye to eye, I look forward to working with Speaker Ryan to move our nation forward.”