Paul Ryan announces bid for House speaker

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Thursday announced his bid for speaker of the House, saying he felt encouraged after having secured broad enough support from the Republican majority.

"We can make the House a more open and inclusive body — one where every member can contribute to the legislative process," he said in a statement to his GOP collegues. "We can rally House Republicans around a bold agenda that will tackle the country's problems head on. And we can show the country what a commonsense conservative agenda looks like."

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Though initially reluctant to take the job, Ryan said, "I'm actually excited for this moment. I've spoken with many of you over the past few days, and I can sense the hunger in our conference to get to work. I know many of you want to show the country how to fix our tax code, how to rebuild our military, how to strengthen the safety net, and how to lift people out of poverty. I know you're willing to work hard and get it done, and I think this moment is ripe for real reform."

Ryan's decision to run was conditioned on winning support from three key GOP groups in the House: the conservative House Freedom Caucus, the conservative Republican Study Committee, and the moderate Tuesday Morning Group. But he got the go-ahead from the latter two groups Thursday, and had about 70 percent support from the House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday.

Ryan sought to unite the various GOP factions in his letter.

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