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Speaker Ryan Calls for Unity in Maiden Speech

Paul Ryan has ascended the throne and has become the new House Speaker for Congress.

After succumbing to turmoil, the Republicans have finally elected a new House Speaker to replace John Boehner.

In a maiden speech, Ryan called for unity in Congress.

“Let’s be frank: The House is broken,” he declared to a packed chamber upon taking the gavel. “We are not solving problems.”

“A lot is on our shoulders. So if you ever pray, let’s pray for each other,” Ryan implored fellow Republicans as well as Democrats.

“And I don’t mean pray for a conversion,” he joked.

“We should not hide our disagreements. We should embrace them. We have nothing to fear from honest differences honestly stated. If you have ideas, let’s hear them,” Ryan said.

The Hill reports:

At the top of his remarks, Ryan paused to thank his outgoing predecessor, John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“What really sets John apart is he’s a man of character — a true class act. He is, without question, the gentleman from Ohio. So please join me in saying, one last time, ‘Thank you, Mr. Speaker,'” Ryan said.

Boehner, who opted to stand in the back of the chamber by the staff gathered along the walls after Ryan took the gavel, saluted fellow lawmakers as they gave a standing ovation.

Then, Boehner left the House chamber for perhaps the last time as a member of Congress.

Ryan, 45, is the youngest Speaker in more than a century. He’s also the first House Ways and Means Committee chairman to directly ascend to the Speakership.

Republicans vaulted him into the Speaker’s chair following Boehner’s surprise resignation announcement last month. After House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) abruptly dropped his Speaker bid after encountering the same conservative opposition that pushed Boehner out the door, Republicans implored Ryan to run for the slot despite repeated past insistence that he wasn’t interested in the job.

“I never thought I’d be the Speaker,” Ryan said. “But early in my life, I wanted to serve in the House. I thought the place was exhilarating—because here, you could make a difference.”

He drew applause from both sides of the aisle upon calling for “a return to regular order.”

“The committees should retake the lead in drafting all major legislation,” Ryan said. “Open up the process. Let people participate. And they might change their tune. A neglected minority will gum up the works. A respected minority will work in good faith. Instead of trying to stop the majority, they might try to become the majority.”

“When we do not follow regular order — when we rush to pass bills a lot of us do not understand — we are not doing our job. Only a fully functioning House can truly represent the people,” he added.

“What a relief to them it would be if we finally got our act together,” Ryan said of the people lawmakers represent.

Ryan won 236 votes in Thursday’s election, well above the minimum of 218 to secure a bare majority. Only nine Republicans voted for another candidate, Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), who was previously endorsed by the conservative Freedom Caucus.

Photo credit: Fox 59.

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