"Let’s be frank, the House is broken."
An apparently reluctant Paul Ryan accepts the Speakership but appears realistic about the problems and politics that got him the job. Here are snippets from the NY Times breaking news report on Thursday.
Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin was elected the 54th speaker of the House on Thursday, taking the gavel that he never sought to wield from John A. Boehner, who relinquished it under fire.
But the personal jubilance and high expectations felt by Mr. Boehner, who was elected in a sweeping Republican takeover of the House in 2011, have been replaced with a grim recognition that Mr. Ryan’s ascent stems not from electoral victory but rather the chaos in the ranks of his party’s sizable majority.
Mr. Ryan received 236 votes, a comfortable margin that included several of the hardline conservatives who had worked to oust Mr. Boehner. [He needed 218.] In his address to Congress after the vote, he implored members who have been fighting so bitterly to find a way to work together. "Let’s be frank, the House is broken," Mr. Ryan said. "We are not settling scores," he added, "we are wiping the slate clean."
Mr. Boehner, 65, came into the job a seasoned leader who tried to appease the Tea Party members whose elections helped usher Republicans into the majority. Mr. Ryan, 45, the youngest speaker since 1869, comes in warning those members that he expects them to have his back.
The test for Mr. Ryan will be whether he can manage, perhaps even blunt, this wing of the House Republican conference, or if he too will fall to its members’ intransigence. He had warned members that while he would take their concerns about process seriously, he would not brook dissent that would undermine his ability to lead them.