Paul Ryan Poised to Remain Speaker After Closed-Door Vote

WASHINGTON (ABC NEWS) - House Speaker Paul Ryan is likely to keep his position after Republicans unanimously nominated him for the spot again Tuesday afternoon, as they continue to prepare for a Donald Trump administration and a unified Republican government in January.

While some conservatives have grumbled about Ryan’s leadership and could still vote against him on the House floor in January — when he will need 218 votes (or a majority of members present or voting) to keep the speaker’s gavel — he will likely cruise to victory after his nomination Tuesday.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La, also won re-election in the conference.

Ryan was under pressure from some Trump supporters and members of the House Freedom Caucus who claimed his rocky relationship with Trump was hurting Republicans’ chances.

But after Trump’s unexpected victory last week, Republicans on Capitol Hill are singing a different tune.

“There’s nothing like winning,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a Freedom Caucus leader who led the effort to oust House Speaker John Boehner last year, told CNN on Monday that the group’s focus is on the first 100 days of the Trump administration and not the speakership.

In a closed-door leadership forum Monday no member of the group spoke critically of Ryan, he later told reporters.

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., a member of the group who predicted Trump’s victory, wrote for Newsmax two days ago, “Leadership needs to articulate a detailed plan” in line with Trump’s vision for the country.

In a show of GOP unity, Ryan was nominated for speaker Tuesday by Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-South Carolina, and Rep. Chris Collins, R-New York, a top Trump supporter.

Ryan has lined up squarely behind Trump since his victory last week and called it one of the most incredible political accomplishments he has ever seen.

He said he has spoken to Trump nearly every day since the election and continues to work closely with his transition team to prepare for January.

“Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government,” Ryan said to reporters Tuesday morning, after a conference meeting where Republicans received red "Make America great Again" hats.

Trump’s economic adviser Stephen Moore met with House GOP whips on Tuesday morning at the Capitol to discuss tax reform, which Trump said is among his top priorities.

Nearly one week after Trump's victory, the mood inside the often-fractured GOP conference is optimistic.

"They do feel that it’s a real opportunity to get things done," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said after leadership elections. "This is as unified as I've seen the party."

But as Republican plot their end-of-year spending strategy with Trump and map out their 2017 legislative agenda, some are urging them to set their expectations carefully.

"There's only one number that matters right now, it's the number eight. And that's how many Senate Democrats we're gonna need to pass any major initiative," moderate GOP Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., said Tuesday.


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