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Republican Paul Ryan elected as House speaker

Capitol Hill Re-Groups One Day After Surprise In Speaker's RaceCapitol Hill Re-Groups One Day After Surprise In Speaker's Race
Paul RyanChip Somodevilla Getty Images

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to make Republican Representative Paul Ryan its new speaker Thursday.

Ryan replaces the outgoing John Boehner after a rebellion by conservative lawmakers forced Boehner to retire.

Ryan won 236 votes among the 247 Republicans in the chamber, suggesting the Wisconsin congressman was abandoned by only a handful of conservatives who pushed out Boehner.

His main Republican challenger, Representative Daniel Webster of Florida, received nine votes, while former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Representative Jim Cooper of Tennessee each received one vote, Reuters reported.

Ryan moves to the number two succession spot for the presidency behind the vice president, a position he sought in 2012 as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Ryan’s nomination this week capped weeks of turmoil as Republicans have struggled to unite behind a replacement for Boehner, who is expected to retire from Congress on Friday.

Ryan has never served in House leadership, but heads the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee and is widely respected among conservative Republicans for his budget plans. These have proposed deep cuts to social safety net programs and the effective privatization of Medicare coverage for seniors.

—Reuters contributed to this report.