Republican Rep. Paul Ryan was on Tuesday sworn-in as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives after winning his re-election when the lawmakers convened for the 115th session of the Congress.
The Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored the election on network, reports that only one Republican member defected and voted for Rep. Daniel Webster.
The Speaker, who was first elected on Oct. 29, 2015, was re-elected by the House Republican caucus in November 2016 to serve a second term as Speaker of the House.
On the Democratic side, Nancy Pelosi was re-elected Minority Leader with only four of her colleagues voting for someone else for the top the Democratic position
Ryan, in his address after the election, acknowledged the “intense” times from the past year in his initial remarks to the chamber immediately following his re-election vote.
“Just months ago our country held a great electoral contest and at times it was a little intense.
“As you all know, when you’re in the heat of it, in the heat of the kind of campaign we had, you start to wonder, will the tempers ever cool?
“Will the systems still hold? Does our still rich tradition still have that magic? Well, as it turns out, it does.
“In the end, they all dissolve in the silence and peaceful transfer of power.
“For all of our arguments and all of our differences, we are all united by a deep, abiding love of our country,” he said.
He promised Americans that the House would be by them to support and protect their interests.
“We will be right by you and we will deliver. We honour you because you honour us. We take this sacred trust seriously.”
“In a few years time, people will say that this 115th congress, we did not just pay a lip service to Americans.
“We are not here to be, we are here to do, to improve peoples’ lives, fight poverty, to restore self government to the people,” he said.
The Republican lawmaker also pledged to respect the views of the minority Democrats and carry them along in the House.
“To the minority: we’ve never shied away from our difference. But we must never shy away from making progress to the American people.
“I promise to uphold the rights of the minority. There will be agreement where possible but at all times, respect.
“And to the majority, especially our returning members, this is a one-in-a-time opportunity. This is something that some people used to dream of.
“People gave us to represent them at government not because they are generous but because they trust us.
“How can we let them down? Let this Congress never be timid but go all out to deliver,” Ryan challenged the Congress.
Earlier, Pelosi, the Democrats Minority Leader, said they would seek to find common ground under a new Republican president, citing Trump’s own pledge to clean up Washington.
“House Democrats pledge to seek common ground wherever we can. To forge a bipartisan path forward on job-creating infrastructure.
“To make taxes and foreign trade fair to American workers, to help Americans balance work and family life, and to ‘drain the swamp’ of big money from our campaigns.
“All of these provisions, President-elect Trump has pledged.
“We will seek common ground. But we will stand our ground wherever in good conscience we must,” the Minority Leaders said.
Ryan was later administered the oath of office, after he was pronounced the Speaker of the House.
The Speaker subsequently administered the oath of office to all the new and returning members of the House.
“Congratulations to you now members of the 115th Congress,” Ryan said and hit the gavel. (NAN)