All but one Republican voted for Ryan. If that’s not a message, we don’t know what is. Let’s just hope that Trump and the House can cooperate for the good of the country.
Lawmakers reelected Paul D. Ryan as House speaker Tuesday, choosing the Wisconsin Republican with a fraught history with President-elect Donald Trump to serve as Trump’s chief legislative partner.
Ryan won the support of all but one Republican, winning with many fewer GOP defectors than when he first won the speakership in 2015. The vast majority of Democrats voted for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was reelected as party leader last year despite an abortive effort among some colleagues to oust her after November’s disappointing election results.
The near-unanimous vote for Ryan stands as a strong show of Republican unity as the party embarks on an ambitious legislative agenda that, for the first time in eight years, has a real chance to be signed into law.
But the 24 hours preceding the vote showed that unity can be fleeting: His reelection came less than two hours after Republicans held an emergency meeting to reverse proposed changes that would roll back the authority of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. Ryan opposed those changes ahead of a Monday night conference meeting, but lawmakers voted for them anyway — then agreed to reverse course Tuesday after a public firestorm.
Addressing the House after his election, Ryan made a sharp call to action: “We are not here to be; we are here to do.”