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“He did not seek this office. The office sought him.”

On Thursday, October 29,  Congressman Paul Ryan was officially elected as the new Speaker of the House, replacing retiring Speaker, John Boehner. In his first speech in this new position, Ryan addressed his party’s current gridlock, saying, “The House is broken. We are not solving problems. We are adding to them. And I am not interested in laying blame. We are not settling scores. We are wiping the slate clean.”

After a tumultuous five years under Congressman Boehner’s leadership, the House is in desperate need of a new leader. Ryan, 45, is in his 9th term representing Wisconsin’s 1st district. During his tenure, he has served as Chairman of both the House Budget Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, gaining a reputation as a policy wonk and an effective executive. In August 2012, Ryan was Mitt Romney’s running mate during his failed presidential bid. Romney was present for Ryan’s first Congressional address as Speaker.

After Boehner announced his retirement last month, Congressman Ryan seemed the only likely successor, despite his own ambivalence. Yet, after days of deliberation, he said, “My greatest worry is the consequence of not stepping up, of some day having my own kids ask me, ‘When the stakes were so high, why didn’t you do all you could?'”

Although Ryan knows that serving as Speaker of the House could limit his prospects as a presidential candidate down the road, he appears committed to restoring Congress’ reputation and tackling some of America’s most pressing legislative issues.


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