Newly elected speaker Ryan promises to fix 'broken' House

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Republicans Officially Nominate Paul Ryan as House Speaker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Newly elected U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday promised to sweep away Republican Party differences and repair a "broken" House of Representatives by returning legislative power to committees and rank-and-file members.

Ryan won 236 votes among the chamber's 247 Republicans to be elected speaker, abandoned by only a handful of conservatives who mounted repeated revolts that pushed out his predecessor, John Boehner, who retired.

SEE ALSO: House GOP, eager to mend wounds, votes to make Ryan speaker

Ryan said in a speech after the vote that infighting in the Republican-majority House had been counterproductive and added to the legislative gridlock in Washington.

"We're not solving problems, we're adding to them and I am not interested in laying blame," Ryan said.

"We are not settling scores, we are wiping the slate clean," Ryan added to applause.

Ryan said the House would tackle tough issues, including reducing budget deficits and reforming taxes, saying this would help raise incomes and bring people out of poverty.

The Wisconsin congressman said he would return control over drafting legislation to committees and rank-and-file members, adding: "If you know the issue you should write the bill".

A constant source of friction among conservatives had been Boehner's practice of drafting major spending legislation in secret, often in negotiations with Democrats as fiscal deadlines loomed.

See photos from the vote:

15 PHOTOS
House votes to elect new speaker, Paul Ryan, John Boehner
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Newly elected speaker Ryan promises to fix 'broken' House
Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio gavels in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, as Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is expected to be voted in as the new House Speaker. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
US Representative Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, who is widely expected to be elected as Speaker of the House today, speaks with other Members in the House of Representatives Chamber at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, October 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) wife, Janna Ryan (R) and family attend the House of Representatives chamber at the U.S. Capitol October 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. The House is expected to elect Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the 62nd Speaker of the House, replacing Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), later in the day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
An emotional outgoing House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is applauded by House Republicans in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, as Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is expected to be voted in as the new House Speaker. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio salutes as House Republicans applaud him in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, as Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is expected to be voted in as the new House Speaker. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, bottom right, gives a farewell speech during a House Speaker election at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. House Republicans elected Representative Paul Ryan as their nominee to take the gavel from the retiring Boehner. Ryan won the support of his fellow House Republicans at a party vote Oct. 28. The next step is a vote on the full House floor today. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) greets fellow members of the U.S. House of Representatives on the floor of the House chamber October 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. The House is expected to elect Ryan (R-WI) as the 62nd Speaker of the House, replacing U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), later in the day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. speaks with members of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, before he is expected to be voted in as the new House Speaker. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah is second from right. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, holds a box of tissues after giving a farewell speech during a House Speaker election at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. House Republicans elected Representative Paul Ryan as their nominee to take the gavel from the retiring Boehner. Ryan won the support of his fellow House Republicans at a party vote Oct. 28. The next step is a vote on the full House floor today. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) gives a thumbs up to Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) (L) in the House Chamber of the Capitol October 29, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote for a new speaker to succeed Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) today. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) greets fellow members of the U.S. House of Representatives on the floor of the House chamber October 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. The House is expected to elect Ryan (R-WI) as the 62nd Speaker of the House, replacing U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), later in the day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, wipes his eyes as he gives a farewell speech during a House Speaker election at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. House Republicans elected Representative Paul Ryan as their nominee to take the gavel from the retiring Boehner. Ryan won the support of his fellow House Republicans at a party vote Oct. 28. The next step is a vote on the full House floor today. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is congratulated by fellow members of the U.S. House of Representatives on the floor of the House chamber October 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. The House is expected to elect Ryan (R-WI) as the 62nd Speaker of the House, replacing U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), later in the day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio leaves the House Chamber after opening a session of the House, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is expected to be voted in as the new House Speaker. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: The sun shines on the U.S. House of Representatives early in the morning October 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. The House is expected to elect Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the 62nd Speaker of the House, replacing Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), later in the day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Ryan's main Republican challenger, Representative Daniel Webster of Florida, received nine votes from members of the right-wing Freedom Caucus and other conservatives who frequently battled with Boehner by pressing for quicker progress in shrinking government.

But most Freedom Caucus members, including chairman Jim Jordan, voted for Ryan. One vote each went to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Representative Jim Cooper of Tennessee, and Representative John Lewis of Georgia.

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

Previously the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Ryan has served in Congress since 1999. He is the architect of conservative budget plans that sought to slash social safety net programs, including effectively privatizing Medicare health benefits for seniors, while cutting tax rates for the wealthy and boosting military spending.

Politicians react to Boehner's departure and Ryan's new role:

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Reactions to Paul Ryan as House speaker
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Newly elected speaker Ryan promises to fix 'broken' House
.@SpeakerRyan Congratulations and good luck - you will do a GREAT job for our wonderful U.S.A.!
Big congrats to @SpeakerRyan – someone who I am confident will lead on conservative reforms that make a difference for all Americans.
Thank you for your service, @SpeakerBoehner. Congratulations to our 54th Speaker of the House, @SpeakerRyan.
Best of luck to @SpeakerRyan as he takes over. Hoping tone will be set for bipartisan compromise from the start.
Congrats to @SpeakerRyan who will serve as an effective Speaker and help lead our country in the right direction. https://t.co/xJY20AzX7q
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As the 54th speaker, Ryan's first challenge will be to avoid a government shutdown on Dec. 11 when funds for an array of federal agencies expire.

Boehner, in an emotional farewell speech before the vote, said: "I leave with no regrets or burdens." In what could be a warning to hard-liners, Boehner advised: "Real change takes time ... So believe in the long, slow struggle."

RELATED: Paul Ryan through his career:

30 PHOTOS
Paul Ryan through his career
See Gallery
Newly elected speaker Ryan promises to fix 'broken' House
Speaker of the House Denis Hastert (L) administers the oath of office to Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin as his family looks on January 6, 1999 at the start of the 106th Congress. The oath is a recreation as the formal oath is administered to the entire congress as a body on the floor of the House. (photo by Rex Banner)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 12: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at a news conference in which House Republican leaders called for Permanent Tax Relief. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)
KRT US NEWS STORY SLUGGED: SOCIALSECURITY-DISCUSSION KRT PHOTOGRAPH BY GEORGE BRIDGES/KRT (April 14) Conversation on Social Security between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), shown, and William Novelli, head of AARP, April 5, 2005 (lde) 2005 (Photo by George Bridges/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
In this photo taken Dec. 1, 2015, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.Talks on a massive, government-wide spending bill hit a snag Wednesday as Republicans pressed demands to block new power plant rules, weaken financial services regulations and make it more difficult for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the U.S. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
UNITED STATES - JULY 22: MEDICARE BRIEFING--Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., speaks at a Cato Institute briefing on Medicare reform in the Rayburn House Office Building. Tom Miller, director of Health Policy Studies at Cato, looks on. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 24: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) questions Peter Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office, during a hearing on Capitol Hill about the impact of recent market turmoil on the federal budget on September 24, 2008 in Washington, DC. Orszag reported that while the impact is currently unknown, it is likely to be substantially less than $700 billion. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - APRIL 27: House Budget Committee ranking member Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) delivers an opening statement during a conference committee meeting with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) (L) and House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt (D-SC) in the U.S. Capitol April 27, 2009 in Washington, DC. House and Senate lawmakers have already struck a tentative deal on the FY2010 budget resolution and they hope to file a conference report after today's meeting. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MARCH 19: (L-R) U.S. House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) listen during a news conference on the health care legislation March 19, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House will vote on the Health Care Reform Legislation on Sunday, March 21. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Representative Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin and chairman of the House Budget Committee, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. U.S. House Republicans today unveiled a plan to overhaul the federal budget and slash the deficit in coming years by about three-quarters, with a $6-trillion cut in spending and 25 percent cap on tax rates. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) left, and moderator David Gregory, right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 10, 2011. (Photo by William B. Plowman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 01: Republican Presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) jokes with U.S. Rep Paul Ryan (C) (R-WI) during a pancake brunch at Bluemound Gardens on April 1, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With less than a week before the Wisconsin primary, Mitt Romney continues to campaign through the state. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26: House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is introduced before speaking about 'America's Enduring Promise,' and the federal budget, in a speech at Georgetown University April 26, 2012 in Washington, DC. During his speech, Ryan said that his proposed budget confronts the nation's growing $15 trillion debt before it impacts future generations of Americans. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
NORFOLK, VA - AUGUST 11: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) jokes with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) after announcing him as the 'next PRESIDENT of the United States' during an event announcing him as his running mate in front of the USS Wisconsin August 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Virginia. Ryan, a seven term congressman, is Chairman of the House Budget Committee and provides a strong contrast to the Obama administration on fiscal policy. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 14: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Vice Presidential candidate, waves to the crowd after addressing the Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Woodley Park. Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
NEWPORT NEWS, VA - SEPTEMBER 18: Republican vice presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), pauses as he speaks during a campaign rally at Christopher Newport University September 18, 2012 in Newport News, Virginia. Ryan continued to campaign for the upcoming presidential election. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Republican vice presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) hugs waitress, Lourdes Alcerro, during a campaign stop at Versailles restaurant in the Little Havana neighborhood on September 22, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Ryan continues to campaign for votes across the country. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) and running-mate Paul Ryan share a laugh as they are introduced at a campaign rally September 25, 2012 at Dayton International Airport in Vandalia, Ohio. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)
Representative Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, arrives at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Ryan said he'd be willing to run for speaker of the U.S. House if Republicans unify behind him now, end leadership crises and let him continue spending time with his family. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, center right, walks down the steps of the U.S. Capitol building following a vote in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Ryan is under heavy pressure from fellow Republicans to run for U.S. House speaker after a hard-line faction forced Speaker John Boehner to resign and his top lieutenant to drop out of the race. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., leaves his office before a House GOP meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Representative Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, walks to a meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Ryan is set to meet with a group of House conservatives Tuesday as he weighs a potential run to replace Speaker John Boehner under pressure from fellow Republicans. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis. leaves his office before a House GOP meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Representative Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, center, talks to the media after walking out of the U.S. Capitol building following a vote in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. Ryan is under heavy pressure from fellow Republicans to run for U.S. House speaker after a hard-line faction forced Speaker John Boehner to resign and his top lieutenant to drop out of the race. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis. leaves his office before a House Republican meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 20 - Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks at a news conference following a House Republican meeting, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Ryan is stating that he will run for speaker only if he receives enough GOP support by the end of the week. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., center, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, following meetings with House Republican leaders and the Freedom Caucus members. Ryan seeking unity in a place it's rarely found, is telling House Republicans he will serve as their speaker only if they embrace him by week's end as their consensus candidate. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, awaits the arrival of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin for a meeting at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, December 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 10: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) holds his weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill on December 10, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Paul Ryan spoke on topics including Donald Trump and the spending bill. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, (R-WI) speaks during a Politico interview at the Grand Hyatt on December 15, 2015 in Washington DC. Ryan was interviewed by Politico's Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen during a Politico Playbook Breakfast. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. welcomes Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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