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Republicans Select Ryan as Speaker of the House

Representative Paul Ryan, Republican-Wisconsin, flanked by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican-Washington, left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, after his nomination Wednesday as House speaker.

House Republicans nominated Paul Ryan on Wednesday to lead the House of Representatives.

Ryan, a Republican from the state of Wisconsin, is expected to be elected to the post of Speaker of the House by the full House on Thursday. This is the third-most powerful political position in the U.S.

Ryan, 45, is best known as the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2012. He will be the youngest speaker since Representative James Blaine, a Republican from Maine, who served in the role 146 years ago.

Ryan defeated Representative Daniel Webster of Florida. Ryan won the votes of 200 Republicans, while Webster received 43. Two other Republicans picked up one vote each.

Republicans said he has more than enough votes to be elected speaker by the full House on Thursday.

“This begins a new day in the House of Representatives,” Ryan said after winning a large majority of Republicans. “Tomorrow we are turning the page. We are not going to have a House that looks like it looked the last two years. We are going to move forward, we are going to unify.”

The Republican majority has been badly divided in recent years. Some members wanted to fight hard against the policies of Democratic President Barack Obama. Others said that the party needed to compromise.

The speaker’s office became open when Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said he would step down at the end of October. Ryan at first said he didn’t want to run for the top House post. But he agreed to run when key Republicans said he had the best chance of unifying the party.

Ryan will be second in line to the presidency behind the vice president, if the president is killed or can no longer serve.

“Representative Paul Ryan is a strong leader for our Republican Party and an effective communicator for our conservative values,” said Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

The U.S. Congress has two bodies: The 435-member House of Representatives and 100-member Senate.


Words in This Story

speakern. the leader of the House of Representatives

certainadj. not having any doubt about something.

Bruce Alpert reported on this story for VOA Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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