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Paul Ryan Will Run for Speaker After Securing Support from Conservative Republicans

A supermajority of the conservative Freedom Caucus said they would support Ryan, which falls short of the 80 percent required for a formal endorsement, but is still enough votes for Ryan to narrowly secure the position.
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Congressman Paul Ryan said he will still run for speaker of the House, despite getting a slightly cooler embrace than he had hoped from the hardline factions of the Republican party.

A supermajority of the Freedom Caucus said they would support Ryan, which falls short of the 80 percent required for a formal endorsement, but is still enough votes for Ryan to narrowly secure the position.

"While no consensus exists among members of the House Freedom Caucus regarding Chairman Ryan's preconditions for serving, we believe that these issues can be resolved within our Conference in due time," the Freedom Caucus said in a statement.


On Tuesday, Ryan announced that he would formally run for the top Republican leadership position as long as all of the major GOP caucuses united behind him. Securing the support of the Freedom Caucus, a group of the most conservative House Republicans that has wielded enormous power in recent weeks, was central to Ryan's decision to run.

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Despite not receiving the overwhelming support he had hoped for, Ryan said on Wednesday that he was "grateful for the support" and would still go ahead with his run anyway.

Ryan also said respect for time with his family and an assurance that House Republicans would not constantly wield the weapon of job insecurity over whoever is speaker were other prerequisites before he would agree to serve.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have desperately been looking for someone to fill the top leadership position since John Boehner announced plans to step down last month. Much of the disarray has come from the Freedom Caucus, which worked to oust Boehner and endorsed Representative Kevin McCarthy to take his place.

McCarthy abruptly withdrew his candidacy for the position about two weeks ago after the Freedom Caucus turned on him. It soon became clear that no one else wanted the job.

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Boehner had planned to retire on October 30, but he has since agreed to stay on until a new speaker is elected. The federal budget is set to expire in two weeks, and if Republicans do not pick a speaker in time, Congress would come to a standstill and the government would shut down.

Ryan quickly emerged as the reasonable next choice for the position, despite the fact that he initially made it clear that he had no interest in the job. Less than an hour after Boehner said he was stepping down, Ryan made his own statement saying that he had no plans to run for the speakership.

But over the past several weeks, Republicans have pleaded for Ryan to take the job, with many in the GOP saying he is the best — and perhaps last — chance to unite the party. Ryan reportedly spent last week's congressional recess mulling the move in his native Wisconsin.

"He feels the pull of the country — people encouraging him and saying he'd be a great choice," Representative Reid Ribble, a fellow Republican from Wisconsin, told ABC News.

"But he also feels the pull of his family, and his passions," Ribble added.

In 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked Ryan as his vice presidential nominee. Ryan is currently the chairman of the House Ways and Means committee.

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