Republican elected U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as the new House Speaker today and his 236 supporters included Rep. Lou Barletta and Rep. Tom Marino.
No surprise there or in what Mr. Barletta said Mr. Ryan told him about the prospects of passing an immigration reform bill anytime soon.
In a statement, Mr. Barletta said Mr. Ryan earned the backing of most of the House’s conservative Freedom Caucus, the more moderate Tuesday Group, and the Republican Study Committee.
Considering the broad support, he thinks Mr. Ryan was the best choice.
“When he called me personally this past Sunday to ask for my support, Congressman Ryan said that he knew about my strong position against illegal immigration and that it was probably responsible for my being in Congress in the first place,” Mr. Barletta, R-11, Hazleton, said. “He assured me that he would not bring to the floor any bill that would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, and that no immigration reform bill would come before us while Barack Obama is president.”
Mr. Ryan also promised he would push bills favored by a majority of Republicans, Mr. Barletta said.
“Those personal assurances were enough for me,” he said. “If you are looking for a perfect candidate for Speaker of the House, you won’t find one. The challenge is to find someone who can attract support from all corners of our party, get everyone pulling in the same direction, and clearly champion our cause to the American people. It is time to put the past where it belongs – behind us – and move forward.”
As of right now, Mr. Marino, R-10, Lycoming Twp., hasn’t put out a statement, but I’ll add his if he does.
Mr. Ryan had opposition from within his own party, and technically, from a couple of Democrats, too.
Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida got nine votes, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who isn’t even a congressman, got 1 vote.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi got 184 votes from House Democrats with Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, the well-known civil rights champion, and Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee, getting 1 vote each. Mr. Cooper voted for Mr. Powell.
Three members didn’t vote.
— BORYS KRAWCZENIUK