WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan was elected Thursday to serve as speaker of the House bringing to an end of weeks of uncertainty.
Ryan, the 62nd House speaker, won 236 votes to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's 184, enough to take the House seat. Ryan received a standing ovation as he was handed the gavel with his wife, Janna, and children Liza, 13, Charlie, 12, and Sam, 10, looking on. Florida Rep. Daniel Webster received nine votes. Conservatives will now look to Ryan, an influential committee chairman and 2012 vice presidential nominee, to bring together the splintered Republican party and encourage House lawmakers to function cohesively.
Before his swearing in, Ryan called for greater unity among the factions in the House and a renewed vision for his party. He said standing in front of the full House underscored the "weight of responsibility, the gravity of the moment."
Ryan said changes need to be made immediately. The committees should take the lead in drafting all major legislation, he said. "If you know the issue, you should write the bill." He encouraged the House to take tough issues "head on."
"No more favors for the few. Opportunity for all, that is our motto," he said.
"We have nothing to fear from honest differences honestly stated," he added. "If you have ideas, let's hear them. A greater clarity between us can lead to a greater charity among us."
Ryan was officially nominated Wednesday for Speaker of the House by GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. With his election, Ryan, 45, is the youngest person to hold the seat since 1869. The last 20 speakers were an average of 63 years old when they took the position.