Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) handily won the votes of nearly all his fellow Republicans in Thursday’s Speaker election, with the exception of a handful of dissenters.
Ryan won the vote to succeed outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) with 236 votes, well above the 218 needed for a simple majority. But nine Republicans voted instead for Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), a long shot who was the only other Speaker candidate going into the GOP’s closed-door nomination vote on Wednesday.
Webster, like Ryan, did not vote in Thursday’s election. Although in January, during Boehner’s reelection to the House’s top job, Webster voted for himself.
The nine Webster supporters were Reps. Dave Brat (Va.), Curt Clawson (Fla.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Bill Posey (Fla.), Randy Weber (Texas) and Ted Yoho (Fla.).
After Ryan overwhelmingly won Wednesday’s nomination vote for Speaker, Webster, a former Florida state Speaker, said he didn’t want his colleagues to vote for him during the full House election.
“I don’t really want them to nominate me,” Webster said. “This is done.”
Webster won three fewer votes on Thursday than he did in January, but he did win 43 votes on Wednesday, meaning that some Republicans who backed him in the secret-ballot election switched their votes to Ryan on the House floor.
The conservative Freedom Caucus initially endorsed Webster for Speaker earlier this month in a move that contributed to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) decision to abandon his bid for the job.
But many prominent members of the Freedom Caucus ultimately voted for Ryan on the floor Thursday, including Chairman Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Reps. Raúl Labrador (Idaho), Matt Salmon (Ariz.), Justin Amash (Mich.), Mark Meadows (N.C.) and Tim Huelskamp (Kan.).
By the end, it became clear that Ryan had secured more than enough votes to win the election, a contrast with the narrow vote in January, when 25 Republicans voted against Boehner. In the last moments of the roll call, the final, 236th vote came from none other than the outgoing Speaker.
Only time will tell if the change from Speaker Boehner to Speaker Ryan is REALLY any different. Too bad Speaker Ryan couldn’t commit to the 10 Republican consensus principles, you know things like opposing amnesty for unauthorized immigrants. Like I said, only time will tell if Speaker Ryan is standing with #WeThePeople or with Obama. Let’s hope he remembers one of Reagan’s best quotes – ‘A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.’
Written by Nancy Hayes
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