Paul Ryan: 54th Speaker of US House of Representatives

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U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) 54th Speaker of the U.S. House of Reporesentatives

Garnering 236 votes, on October 29th the US House elected Paul Ryan (R-WI) Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Republican House Freedom Caucus member Daniel Webster (R-FL) was also nominated and received 9 votes. Democrats nominated Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who received 185 votes from colleagues in her party.

Since coming to Congress in 1998 at the age of 28 over the last 17 years Ryan has ascended to Chair the House Budget Committee and the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.  He was also the 2012 vice presidential nominee.  Speaker Ryan is probably most noted for working across party lines with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to negotiate the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, the first time since 1986 that Congress reached a budget agreement while separate parties controlled the chambers.  Ryan is also the author of the Path to Prosperity a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit with proposed changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Tax reforms.

Ryan’s 1st congressional district is located in southeastern Wisconsin (directly south of Milwaukee) and includes Kenosha County, Racine County and most of Walworth County , as well as portions of Rock County, Waukesha County and Milwaukee County. The make up of the district is 84 percent urban and 16 percent rural. Blue collar occupations make up 27 percent of jobs in the district, 58 percent are considered white collar occupations.  Median incomes are just over $50,000.  Politically the 1st district is considered a swing district having supported President George W. Bush in 2004 (53%) and President Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008.  The district voted Mitt Romney (with Paul Ryan as his running mate) over Barack Obama in 2012.

In his first address to the House as Speaker, Ryan said the House “is broke,” and now is the time to fix it.  He said, “We are not here to settle scores, we are wiping the slate clean.”  Ryan went further in recommending “Committees should take the lead in drafting all major legislation.”  Ryan also reminded members “A neglected minority will gum up the process, but a respected minority may help in getting good legislation passed.”

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