New Speaker Paul Ryan says the House is broken. After accepting the Speaker's gavel, the Wisconsin Republican noted bitter partisan rancor and said it is time to "wipe the slate clean." Ryan urged Republicans and Democrats to "pray for each other." He said the House will not duck tough issues and will confront them head on. Ryan replaced Speaker John Boehner, who is retiring from Congress after roughly 25-years. Boehner gave the House chamber a thumbs-up as he officially stepped down.

Boehner wiped away tears as he was hugged by many members of the House. Ryan called Boehner a man of character and a "true class act." House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Boehner is the "personification of the American dream." Ryan was sworn-in by Michigan Democrat John Conyers, the dean of the House. Majority Republicans elected Ryan with 236 votes. Democrats nominated Pelosi and she secured 184 votes. Pelosi was Speaker when Democrats controlled the House from 2007 to 2011.

The Speaker of the House is second in line to the presidency after the vice president. The 45-year old Ryan chaired the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and is the youngest Speaker in more than 140 years. Ryan was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012. (Metro Networks Inc.)


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