Congressman Paul D. Ryan Elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

October 29, 2015Alerts Government Relations Alert

Earlier today, Congressman Paul D. Ryan (R-WI-01), 45, was elected by the United States House of Representatives to succeed John A. Boehner as Speaker of the House of Representatives. The 2012 Republican Vice Presidential nominee was first elected to Congress in 1998. Ryan served as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee for the 112th Congress and 113th Congress and as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee for the 114th Congress, until today. The final vote to elect the Speaker of the House of Representatives was: 236 for Paul D. Ryan, 184 for Nancy Pelosi, nine for Daniel Webster and three for other.

Ryan’s leadership style as Speaker is expected to be quite different from Boehner’s. Upon his election, Ryan declared, “The House is broken. We are not settling scores. We are wiping the slate clean.” It is expected that many House rules will change to reflect the broad spectrum of ideologies presently represented in the Republican Conference. Ryan said “we need to let every member contribute – not once they have earned their stripes, but now.” Notably Ryan is expected to reorganize the Steering Committee process, which nominates chairs of the House committees and appoints members to serve on each of the House committees.

Ryan is expected to empower the committee process and return to regular order – where legislation filters up through the subcommittees and committees, rather than coming down from House leadership. He also is planning to utilize the “Hastert Rule,” whereby legislation is heard on the floor of the House only when there is support from a majority of the Majority Party (Republican at present).

Ryan, whose political passion has centered on comprehensive budget reform, was not initially interested in vacating his Chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee to lead the fractured Republican Conference. He acquiesced only after securing a majority vote of support from each of the three major factions: Tuesday Group, Republican Study Committee and the House Freedom Caucus.

Ryan’s election as Speaker follows Boehner’s resignation announcement on September 25, 2015, and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s recusal from the Speaker race. Majority Leader McCarthy continues to have strong national support from the mainstream of the Republican Party and is expected to continue leading Republican congressional fundraising efforts.

Ryan’s election as Speaker leaves open the highly coveted spot as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The two members vying for the position are: Congressmen Kevin Brady (R-TX-08) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12). The selection of Ryan’s successor as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee is expected to take place in the next week.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Patrick Anderson at 202.696.1453 or [email protected] or any other member of Fox Rothschild's Government Relations Practice.