What’s up with the new Speaker of the House?

Photo Credit: Ron Sachs/DPA/Zuma Press/TNS

“The people of this country have done all of us a great honor. Now, let’s prove ourselves worthy of it. ” – Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan

Jeanine Ramirez, Senior News Editor

Amidst the turmoil and chaos within the House of Representatives, the next leader has emerged and a new era of reform has begun. After serving in the House of Representatives for 25 years and 5 of those years of being the House Speaker, Republican John Boehner passed his Speaker Gavel onto his colleague Paul Ryan on October 29th, 2015. Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee for Speaker of the House, joined the House of Representatives at the age of 28 and was appointed Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Ryan, in 2012, ran alongside Mitt Romney as his vice president in the bid for the presidency against presidential incumbent Barack Obama. 

When Ryan had the support and votes of three House committees he agreed that he would run. John Boehner, who decided to resign shortly after Pope Francis visited, said his goodbye’s on the House floor, pausing here and there to grab a tissue and wipe his eyes. He spoke out about Ryan and how they knew each other from when Ryan was putting out signs on lawns for Boehner when he was running for the House.     

“Let’s be frank.” Ryan said, “The House is broken. We’re not solving problems. We’re adding to them. And I am not interested in laying blame. We are not settling scores.” and that “When we are done, let us say we left the people—all the people—more united, happy, and free.” Senior Camille Yodzis shared how she felt about Ryan stepping up to answer the “call” to be Speaker of the House. “I give him respect because the job has to be done and he is probably going to enjoy it. He’ll probably stand out more than John Boehner and create a positive outcome in the House of Representatives.”

“I leave with no regrets, no burdens. If anything, I leave the way I started: just a regular guy, humbled by the chance to do a big job.” - Former Speaker of the House, John Boehner
Photo Credits: Ron Sachs/DPA/Zuma Press/TNS “I leave with no regrets, no burdens. If anything, I leave the way I started: just a regular guy, humbled by the chance to do a big job.” – Former Speaker of the House, John Boehner

Ryan also called for bipartisan reform, telling both the Democrats and Republicans to pray for each other. He jokingly added that he didn’t mean for them to pray for a conversion. “What a relief it would be to the American people if we finally got our act together’ he said, ”what a weight off their shoulders.” Legislation in Congress and the House of Representatives was designed by our Founders to be slow and detailed but this Congress has been slower than it was ever intended to be. One of his goals for the House is for members to embrace their disagreements and he stated that they “have nothing to fear from honest differences honestly stated.” Ryan also noted that the American people and the Representatives have grown tired of how the House works. Senior Kristina Kennedy agreed that “It needs to pick up the pace a little.”   His call for change in the House has brought hope to both Democrat and Republican members. “No more favors for the few.” he said, “Opportunity for all—that is our motto.”