Georgia Congressmen React to Election of Paul Ryan as Speaker

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.

1st District Rep. Buddy Carter:

More than ever before, the Republican Party needs unity. Paul Ryan is a strong leader with a proven conservative record. Most importantly, Paul has proven himself with his budget plans to rein in out of control Washington spending. I am confident Paul will work tirelessly to unite our Conference and push forward our shared conservative values. Now, with the Speaker’s race behind us, it’s time to get back to the work we were sent here to do.

2nd District Rep. Sanford Bishop:

To everything there is a season, and today, the leadership of the People’s House shifts from the Honorable John Boehner of Ohio to a proud son of Wisconsin, Representative Paul Ryan. The inability of members of Congress to cooperate with each other cries out for a renewed commitment to joint problem solving for the common good of the nation. Only time will tell, but under Speaker Ryan’s leadership, I am hopeful for a new season, defined less by dysfunction and more by bipartisan progress for the American People.

7th District Rep. Rob Woodall:

As the third-highest Constitutional office in the land, the Speaker of the House has a tremendously important role to play in America’s success. At a time when we face many challenges, it is crucial that the people’s House – as well as all of Washington – function on their behalf. Paul Ryan is the guy who can get it done. He has an impressive track record of crafting and implementing solutions, and is the type of leader that will serve as a unifying presence when we need it most. I look forward to what’s to come, and appreciate his willingness to serve in this way.

9th District Rep. Doug Collins:

Today, the House elected Rep. Paul Ryan to be the new Speaker of the House. He has promised to return the House to regular order, and I look forward to holding him accountable to that promise. As Speaker, Rep. Ryan has committed to a more inclusive process, one that will be open to all Republican ideas. He is a respected colleague, and won the vast majority of votes from the Republican side, including the support of the Georgia delegation. I look forward to working with him, and I know that his experience as Chairman of both the House Budget Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee, will bring much needed fiscal discipline to the legislative body that controls the purse strings.

Georgia Republican Party Chair John Padgett:

Congratulations to Paul Ryan for earning the speakership. We encourage Speaker Ryan to work closely with Georgia’s Republican delegation to end reckless spending and debt, repeal job killing regulations, protect our Constitutional rights and freedoms, and secure a brighter future for all Americans. Together, we can put this country back on the path to prosperity.


  1. Ellynn says:

    I have very fond memories from childhood of Speaker Ryan’s late grandfather, Dr. Hutter – an extremely nice man. He would be very proud of his grandson today.

  2. northside101 says:

    So Ryan did not have intraparty competition after all? In other words, there was no contest between himself and Daniel Webster of Florida? Seems like there is never a contested race for Speaker (within one’s own party) up in DC?

    And though it sometimes happens in Georgia, where Speaker is elected by acclamation or almost so (no Democrat has run recently for the Speaker of the Georgia House), I guess you never see in DC where a Speaker is chosen by acclamation. (I mean, what was the point of Nancy Pelosi being on the ballot up there today—just to be sure there were no defecting Democrats?)

    • Rob-Adkerson says:

      There absolutely was a challenged race for Speaker. First it was McCarthy, Chaffetz, and Webster. McCarthy could have won that race and would have been a much better Speaker than conservatives anticipated, but very selflessly pulled back, because he wanted a more unified conference. Then there was a race between Webster and Ryan. The process is the same an any election in that there is a Primary and a General. The Primary or Conference Vote was held the day before in this case, and Ryan won that vote overwhelmingly. He was the nominee. Daniel Webster acknowledged that as asked that no one nominate from the floor, because that’s not the place to oppose the person chosen by a majority of the conference, unless of course your goal is to gain the support of the opposing party.

  3. northside101 says:

    Thanks for the clarification—I never did hear though the “primary totals”, but I guess that is one of those things that stays “behind closed doors” so as not to suggest disunity.

    Even though symbolic, amazing that Democrats stuck with Pelosi the other day—I thought she was the one that led them over a cliff in 2010—a charge that probably will keep them out of the House majority the rest of the decade. I guess even though she is 75, she won’t quit until she becomes Speaker one more time. Was no one else available, or would it be a danger to run one inch to her right?

    • David C says:

      It’s pretty simple. She knows her caucus, she can raise a ton of money, and she knows how to count the votes. The secret that Republicans miss is that Nancy Pelosi isn’t the West Coast California liberal they stereotype her as: She’s much more her father’s daughter. He was an old of old Baltimore mayor who knows how to make the machine work, and she knows how to whip members of her caucus and when to lay off it. She’s far, far better at herding cats than Boehner ever was (or probably Ryan will be). I don’t think many people blamed her for 2010–a midterm in the midst of 10% unemployment was always going to be terrible (so was Reagan’s in 82, he just had fewer seats to lose), and a lot of her caucus was holding seats that would have otherwise been red but for Bush, much less trying to defend them in an election where Dems were losing Senate seats in blue states like PA, WI, and IL. The reason they’ll be out of the House majority for a decade isn’t the House anyway, it’s all those state legislatures. Dems won the House popular vote by 1.5 million in 2012, but were still 33 votes short of a majority.

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    Ryan spoke well on the Sunday morning talk shows, but I don’t think he can successfully deliver his four points.

    “There are basically four things I think we need to do. Number one, get the House on working like it was intended to work by the founders. Number two, we need to seek common ground. We need to find common ground where we can find it to advance the nation’s interest. And we can do so without compromising our principles. Number three, I think it’s incredibly important that we serve as an effective opposition party, a check on the administration’s power. But that leads me to the most important point, number four, we’ve got to be a bold alternative party, a proposition party. We don’t like the direction the country’s headed, so we owe it to the people of this nation how we would do things differently.” on Face the Nation

    His remark that any GOP candidate was better than Hillary, and that Obama couldn’t be trusted on immigration bely point 2.

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