Republicans nominated Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan for Speaker of the House on Wednesday.
The Republican conference selected Ryan over Florida Rep. Daniel Webster during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill.
Ryan won’t officially be elected speaker, as expected now, until the entire body of Republicans and Democrats gather for a public floor vote Thursday.
Ryan’s path to speaker-in-waiting has been messy, to say the least.
Outgoing Speaker John Boehner , facing the prospect of a revolt from conservatives, surprised the political world last month by announcing his resignation from the GOP leadership and from Congress.
Majority leader Kevin McCarthy initially sought to move up the ladder to replace Boehner, but withdrew from the race when it became clear a voting bloc of conservatives planned to oppose his bid.
Ryan, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, repeatedly said he would not run for speaker. But he reluctantly agreed to re-consider after a number of Republicans argued he was the only person capable of unifying the entire fractured conference.
Heading into Wednesday’s vote, some conservatives expressed opposition to Ryan. Among concerns: his views on immigration and his proximity to the current leadership.
As Boehner leaves Congress, the Ohio Republican struck a deal with President Obama to suspend the debt limit through 2017 and raise domestic and defense spending levels. While Ryan has been critical of the deal, he likely benefits from Boehner taking the issue of spending crises off the table as he becomes speaker.
On Tuesday, Ryan made an issue out of how Congress is voting on it with just days before hitting the deadline for the country to do something about its borrowing authority, saying: “I think this process stinks.”
Before the speaker’s vote Wednesday, Ryan acknowledged the deal has “some good, some bad, and some ugly” in it but said there was no other alternative.
“What has been produced will go a long way toward relieving the uncertainty hanging over us, and that’s why I intend to support it,” Ryan said.