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Paul Ryan 'Unanimously' Wins GOP Speaker Nomination

Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was able to hold off a conservative coup during a leadership vote Tuesday afternoon. (Reuters photo)

If there is trouble within the ranks of the House Republican Conference, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was able to keep it safely hidden behind closed doors Tuesday.

House Republicans voted "unanimously" to make Ryan their official nominee for speaker when the new Congress convenes in January. If there were any congressmen who objected to his nomination, they didn't speak up during the voice vote.

There was supposed to be a secret ballot held Tuesday, but House GOP leadership switched to a voice vote at the last minute, suggesting they at least have the tentative support of a majority of the caucus. It's no secret conservatives, particularly the House Freedom Caucus, are not happy with his leadership in the past year.

When the new Congress convenes, Ryan must get 218 votes from the House to remain speaker. His predecessor, former Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) needed help from Democrats to win the speaker vote at the start of the current Congress, which eventually led to his ouster and resignation from his seat.

Ryan reportedly told House Republicans he had the backing of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. After the vote, he issued the following message:

It is a tremendous honor to be nominated by my colleagues to serve as Speaker of the House. Now it's time to go big.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was elected majority leader.

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