Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was elected Speaker of the House this morning, receiving 236 votes to Nancy Pelosi’s 184. Rep. Daniel Webster, the initial choice of the House Freedom Caucus, received 9 votes. Three other candidates received a single vote, including Georgia’s Fifth District Rep. John Lewis. For the Georgia delegation, the vote was along party lines, with all Republicans voting for Ryan, and all Democrats voting for Pelosi.
Georgia’s two representatives that belong to the House Freedom Caucus issued statements following the election. 10th District Rep. Jody Hice said this:
The position of Speaker of the House was established by Article I, Section II of the United States Constitution in 1789, and it is the job of the United States House of Representatives to choose who should hold this position. Today, I cast my vote, ultimately in support of Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Much has changed since 1789, but principles like limited government, regular order in the House of Representatives, and empowering Members to vote their conscience and their Districts— these principles are timeless.
As a proud member of the House Freedom Caucus, I have fought vigorously for institutional reforms. As I have said many times, in order for us to fix Washington, then all Members — whether they are in Leadership or part of the rank and file, whether they are a Democrat or a Republican, whether they are in the Freedom Caucus or the Tuesday Group — deserve for their voices and the voices of their constituents to be heard. After prayerful consideration and after many meetings with Paul, I am very encouraged by the institutional reforms he is willing to implement for the benefit of all Members of the House of Representatives, and for the United States.
Speaker Ryan promises real institutional reforms in the way of opening up the legislative process to all members, only moving legislation that has the support of the majority of the majority, changing the way our committees are selected, and implementing a bottom-up leadership approach. Speaker Ryan has assured us these reforms are coming. I have invested a lot of faith in Speaker Ryan’s word, and I will expect nothing less than a full return on that investment.
Accordingly, I think we all know that now is the time for unity. I have confidence that Paul will work tirelessly in order to unite our Conference. With the Speaker election behind us, I look forward to getting back to the work our constituents sent us here to accomplish, and look forward to working with Speaker Ryan.
11th District Rep. Barry Loudermilk:
This historic mid-term process of selecting a new Speaker has never been about a person, but revolutionizing the way Congress does business. The current leadership-centric, top down approach to governing is broken and prohibits members from truly representing their constituents. There is no better example of the failure of the current system than the two year budget deal which passed yesterday with a majority of Republicans rejecting it. The bill bypassed the entire legislative process and had no input from individual members of Congress or committee chairmen who have jurisdiction over these matters.
While there is no perfect candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan has openly committed to working with members to restore the rules, respect the legislative process, empower every member of Congress, and ensure the American people are represented.
Our nation’s Founders designed the House of Representatives to serve as the People’s House, not the speaker’s house. I believe that today gives us an historic opportunity to change the culture in Washington D.C., and shows that our government has responded to the millions of Americans who demanded change in the direction of their government.
I look forward to working with Speaker Ryan as we continue toward restoring an America for future generations that is free, safe, and full of opportunity.
More Reaction from Georgia are below the fold. Read more