‘Pro-life leader’ Paul Ryan elected Speaker of US House
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Paul Ryan has been elected the 54th Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Congress voted this morning to elect the nine-term Wisconsin politician with 236 votes.
His next closest challenger, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, received 184 votes. A conservative alternative, Daniel Webster of Florida, got nine votes, and - perhaps most surprisingly - Gen. Colin Powell received the vote of Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper.
Americans United for Life CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest called Rep. Ryan “a pro-life leader who understands that common sense legislation respecting life is an essential part of the work of Congress.” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, agreed that “Paul Ryan is one of the best communicators we have in the fight to defend life. His clarity, compassion and thoughtfulness on this issue will serve him well as he takes on the challenge of Speakership."
Ryan has a strong record on the right to life, often earning 100 percent ratings from National Right to Life and zero from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
“Speaker Ryan is well-known for his consistent pro-life values exhibited in important votes for life. His record includes voting to support the Mexico City Policy that prevents U.S. tax dollars from paying for abortions in other countries; to protect young girls by prohibiting people from taking them across state lines to obtain abortions; to ban human cloning; to repeal the landmark anti-life law known as ObamaCare; to protect unborn children from abortion at 5 months of pregnancy when they can feel pain and may be able to live outside the womb; to redirect tax dollars away from the nation’s leading abortionist chain Planned Parenthood toward true, full-service health care facilities; and in support of banning the gruesome partial-birth abortions dangerous to women and their unborn children,” Dr. Yoest said.
The Speaker of the House, who is third in line to become president after the vice president, appoints the congressional committee leadership and sets the body's legislative agenda.
Ryan's formative personnel decisions bode well for his tenure in office, according to Dannenfelser.
“Ryan’s selection of David Hoppe as Chief of Staff is early evidence that Ryan’s policy team is committed, as he is, to protecting women and unborn children from the horrors of abortion as well as defending conscience rights. Personnel is policy and we are encouraged to see Speaker Ryan surround himself with strong pro-life advocates," she said.
“We look forward to working with Speaker Ryan and his team to carry on the unprecedented level of pro-life activity overseen in the House by Speaker Boehner," she added.
However, he has supported pillars of the LGBT political agenda, including voting for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and flip-flopping on letting homosexuals adopt children.
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Ryan's election was a foregone conclusion after House Republicans, who hold a significant majority, voted to nominate him at a closed door meeting yesterday. Trey Gowdy nominated Ryan, seconded by Jeb Hensarling and Kristi Noem on Wednesday during the Republican vote.
At that event, Ryan promised his Republican colleagues yesterday that he would change the direction of the GOP, saying, "Our party lost its vision, and we are going to replace it with a vision.”
Some right to life leaders encourage him to return to traditional budgeting practices as part of his package of reforms. March for Life Vice President for Governmental Affairs Tom McClusky explained, “Without the proper appropriations process, the necessary pro-life provisions, such as the protection of conscience rights for California hospitals being forced by the state of California to pay for abortions, ends up left out of these eleventh-hour bills.”
But some conservatives remain weary of Ryan, who was Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012. In addition to his support for homosexual issues, he supports granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and has voted for the TARP bailout and other fiscal measures that concern them.
His demand for party unity - and that Congress eliminate a procedural rule that allows rank-and-file Congressmen to replace the Speaker mid-term - also raised concerns that he will be less accountable than his predecessors.
Grassroots conservative leaders promise to hold Ryan's feet to the fire. “The American people are tired of Republican Congressional ‘leadership’ failing to protect and defend the American people and to provide for the common good,’” said Diana Banister, the executive director of Citizens for the Republic. "We look forward to the new leadership of Congressman Paul Ryan, who has promised to do the people’s business and ‘to give this country an alternative.'"
“Mr. Ryan, we will hold you to your promise,” she said.