[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 1 (Tuesday, January 3, 2017)]
[Pages H2-H6]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                          ELECTION OF SPEAKER

  The CLERK. Pursuant to law and precedent, the next order of business 
is the election of the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 
115th Congress.
  Nominations are now in order.
  The Clerk recognizes the gentlewoman from Washington (Mrs. McMorris 
Rodgers).
  Mrs. McMORRIS RODGERS. Whether you are from the Evergreen State or 
the Badger State, we gather here on the House floor representing very 
diverse backgrounds and walks of life.
  This House, the people's House, the center of our government, is 
where views and beliefs of millions are represented, where ideas are 
considered, debated, and crafted into laws. No one understands this 
better than our Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. He truly is the 
people's Speaker because he understands the responsibility given to 
this body by our Founders.
  It is our responsibility to protect the Constitution and the balance 
of power so that representative government, the rule of law, and equal 
opportunity for all is protected here in this Chamber by the people and 
for the people.
  Just over a year ago, when he picked up that gavel, Speaker Ryan 
challenged us to raise our gaze, to respect this institution and open 
up the legislative process which best represents the will of the 
people, to be accountable to the people we represent, to be men and 
women of integrity, to serve our country with a sense of purpose, and 
to empower everyone to reach their full potential.
  Speaker Ryan knows that the healthy competition of ideas between our 
passionate and talented Members is an asset of representative 
government. As Speaker, Paul Ryan made a commitment to getting this 
institution working, and as a result, we have had more conference 
committees and more bipartisan achievements. He put this majority to 
work on bold policy solutions that united us. Under his leadership, 
this think tank of ideas was able

[[Page H3]]

to find common ground without compromising conservative principles.
  Together, after crisscrossing our districts and listening to 
Americans of all walks of life, we developed A Better Way, our vision 
for a confident America--policies that solve the biggest challenges of 
our time; policies that trust people, not the government, to make their 
own decisions and pursue their own dreams.
  As Speaker Ryan said the day he was called upon for this role, 
``Nothing could be more inspiring than a job well done. Nothing could 
stir the heart more than real, concrete results.''
  In this critical moment in our Nation's history, as our unified 
Republican government begins to take its place, we have an opportunity 
to think big, to reimagine our government from the top to the bottom, 
and to put the people back at the center of it. It is a time to act 
with a sense of purpose to rebuild the American idea and reclaim the 
people's voice.
  There is no one better to lead the people's House in that calling 
than Paul D. Ryan.
  But through all of it, the man from Janesville never forgets where he 
came from and who he works for. He insists on calling his constituents 
his ``employers.'' He insists on all of us calling him ``Paul.'' But 
make no mistake, today and every day we are honored to call him ``Mr. 
Speaker.''
  As chair of the Republican Conference, I am directed by the vote of 
that conference to present for election to the office of Speaker of the 
House of Representatives for the 115th Congress the name of the 
Honorable Paul D. Ryan, a Representative-elect from the State of 
Wisconsin.
  The CLERK. The Clerk now recognizes the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Crowley).

  Mr. CROWLEY. Madam Clerk, first I would like to welcome back the 
gentlewoman from Washington State (Mrs. McMorris Rodgers) and her 
family, as well as welcome all of our colleagues and their families to 
this new session of Congress.
  Madam Clerk, as chair of the House Democratic Caucus, I have the 
honor of nominating the gentlewoman from California, Representative-
elect Nancy Pelosi, as our candidate for Speaker of the House of 
Representatives.
  Madam Clerk, it is well known on both sides of the aisle and in both 
Chambers that Nancy Pelosi will never be outworked, outmaneuvered, or 
outsmarted.
  Under her leadership, America has made tremendous advancements. 
During her tenure as Speaker of the House, she successfully oversaw the 
rescue of the auto industry, saving over 1 million good-paying American 
manufacturing jobs. She was our captain when we ushered into law the 
Affordable Care Act, which has extended healthcare insurance to 20 
million Americans and counting.
  But, Madam Clerk, she didn't stop there. She led the charge to enact 
Wall Street reform legislation to end taxpayer bailouts for big banks.
  But I know this, Madam Clerk, history will show that Nancy Pelosi's 
greatest victories will have been fought and won far beyond her 
Speakership. A vote for Nancy Pelosi is a vote to ensure that Congress 
does not undo the progress we have made over the last 8 years: a vote 
to ensure that health insurance companies do not go back to controlling 
Americans' healthcare choices, a vote to ensure Wall Street does not 
once again gamble away the economic future of Main Street, a vote to 
ensure we do not leave markets to police themselves.
  My friends, we cannot turn back the clock, and any attempt to do so 
will have to go through not just all of us on this side of the aisle, 
but through Nancy Pelosi. I assure you, I know that is no small task.
  So, in the name of fighting for our core principles and advancing the 
issues American workers and their families care about, and because the 
people's House should be ethical, accountable, and open to free debate, 
Madam Clerk, I am pleased to put forth the name of the Representative-
elect from California, Nancy Pelosi, for Speaker of the House of 
Representatives for the 115th Congress.

                              {time}  1245

  The CLERK. The names of the Honorable Paul D. Ryan, a Representative-
elect from the State of Wisconsin, and the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, a 
Representative-elect from the State of California, have been placed in 
nomination.
  Are there further nominations?
  There being no further nominations, the Clerk appoints the following 
tellers:
  The gentleman from Mississippi (Mr. Harper);
  The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Brady);
  The gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur); and
  The gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen).
  The tellers will come forward and take their seats at the desk in 
front of the Speaker's rostrum.
  The roll will now be called, and those responding to their names will 
indicate by surname the nominee of their choosing.
  The Reading Clerk will now call the roll.
  The tellers having taken their places, the House proceeded to vote 
for the Speaker.
  The following is the result of the vote:

                              [Roll No. 2]

                             RYAN (WI)--239

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Arrington
     Babin
     Bacon
     Banks (IN)
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Bergman
     Beutler
     Biggs
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Bost
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Bridenstine
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Budd
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Chaffetz
     Cheney
     Coffman
     Cole
     Collins (GA)
     Collins (NY)
     Comer
     Comstock
     Conaway
     Cook
     Costello (PA)
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Davidson
     Davis, Rodney
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     DesJarlais
     Diaz-Balart
     Donovan
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Dunn
     Emmer
     Farenthold
     Faso
     Ferguson
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Flores
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gaetz
     Gallagher
     Garrett
     Gibbs
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guthrie
     Harper
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Hensarling
     Hice, Jody B.
     Higgins (LA)
     Hill
     Holding
     Hollingsworth
     Hudson
     Huizenga
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (LA)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones
     Jordan
     Joyce (OH)
     Katko
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger
     Knight
     Kustoff (TN)
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latta
     Lewis (MN)
     LoBiondo
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     MacArthur
     Marchant
     Marino
     Marshall
     Mast
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McKinley
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Messer
     Mitchell
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Mulvaney
     Murphy (PA)
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Nunes
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Perry
     Pittenger
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Pompeo
     Posey
     Price, Tom (GA)
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Renacci
     Rice (SC)
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney, Francis
     Rooney, Thomas J.
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce (CA)
     Russell
     Rutherford
     Sanford
     Scalise
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smucker
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Stivers
     Taylor
     Tenney
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Trott
     Turner
     Upton
     Valadao
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Williams
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Zeldin
     Zinke

                              PELOSI--189

     Adams
     Aguilar
     Barragan
     Bass
     Beatty
     Becerra
     Bera
     Beyer
     Bishop (GA)
     Blumenauer
     Blunt Rochester
     Bonamici
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (MD)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capuano
     Carbajal
     Cardenas
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Connolly
     Conyers
     Correa
     Costa
     Courtney
     Crist
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delaney
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     Demings
     DeSaulnier
     Deutch
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Ellison
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Espaillat
     Esty
     Evans
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Garamendi

[[Page H4]]


     Gonzalez (TX)
     Gottheimer
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hanabusa
     Hastings
     Heck
     Higgins (NY)
     Himes
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Jackson Lee
     Jayapal
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Kennedy
     Khanna
     Kihuen
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     Krishnamoorthi
     Kuster (NH)
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lawson (FL)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lujan Grisham, M.
     Lujan, Ben Ray
     Lynch
     Maloney, Carolyn B.
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McEachin
     McGovern
     McNerney
     Meeks
     Meng
     Moore
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Norcross
     O'Halleran
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Panetta
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Pocan
     Polis
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Raskin
     Richmond
     Rosen
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruiz
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schneider
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Soto
     Speier
     Suozzi
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters, Maxine
     Watson Coleman
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

                              RYAN (OH)--2

     Cooper
     Rice (NY)

                            WEBSTER (FL)--1

       
     Massie

                               COOPER--1

       
     Kind

                             LEWIS (GA)--1

       
     Sinema

                        ANSWERED ``PRESENT''--0

      

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Ryan (WI)
     Schrader


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Ms. PLASKETT (during the roll call). Madam Clerk, parliamentary 
inquiry.
  The CLERK. The gentlewoman will state her parliamentary inquiry.
  Ms. PLASKETT. Madam Clerk, I rise because neither my name nor the 
names of the five Representatives of the separate territories, duly 
elected by collectively 4 million Americans, our names were not called, 
and I ask as a parliamentary inquiry as to why not at this time at this 
juncture in the United States that the territories do not have a voice 
on this floor?
  The CLERK. As the Clerk advised on January 6, 1999, Representatives-
elect are the only individuals qualified to vote in the election of the 
Speaker.

                              {time}  1404

  The CLERK. The tellers agree in their tallies that the total number 
of votes cast is 433, of which the Honorable Paul D. Ryan of the State 
of Wisconsin has received 239, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi of the State 
of California has received 189, the Honorable Tim Ryan of the State of 
Ohio has received 2, the Honorable Jim Cooper of the State of Tennessee 
has received 1, the Honorable John Lewis of the State of Georgia has 
received 1, and the Honorable Daniel Webster of the State of Florida 
has received 1.
  Therefore, the Honorable Paul D. Ryan of the State of Wisconsin, 
having received a majority of the votes cast, is duly elected Speaker 
of the House of Representatives for the 115th Congress.
  The Clerk appoints the following committee to escort the Speaker-
elect to the chair:
  The gentleman from California (Mr. McCarthy)
  The gentlewoman from California (Ms. Pelosi)
  The gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Scalise)
  The gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer)
  The gentlewoman from Washington (Mrs. McMorris Rodgers)
  The gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Clyburn)
  The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Stivers)
  The gentlemen from New York (Mr. Crowley)
  The gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Messer)
  The gentlewoman from California (Ms. Sanchez)
  The gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Collins)
  The gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Ben Ray Lujan)
  The gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Smith)
  The gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro)
  The gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Mimi Walters)
  The gentleman from California (Mr. Swalwell)
  The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Mitchell)
  The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin)
  The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Sessions)
  The gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey)
  The gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. McHenry)
  And the Members of the Wisconsin delegation:
  Mr. Sensenbrenner
  Mr. Kind
  Ms. Moore
  Mr. Duffy
  Mr. Pocan
  Mr. Grothman, and
  Mr. Gallagher
  The committee will retire from the Chamber to escort the Speaker-
elect to the chair.
  The Sergeant at Arms announced the Speaker-elect of the House of 
Representatives of the 115th Congress, who was escorted to the chair by 
the Committee of Escort.
  Ms. PELOSI. It is my honor to join Speaker Ryan in welcoming all of 
you to the 115th Congress.


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  January 3, 2017, on page H4, the following appeared: The 
committee will retire from the Chamber to escort the Speaker-elect 
to the chair. 1400 Ms. PELOSI. It is my honor to join
  
  The online version has been corrected to read: The committee 
will retire from the Chamber to escort the Speaker-elect to the 
chair. The Sergeant at Arms announced the Speaker-elect of the 
House of Representatives of the 115th Congress, who was escorted 
to the chair by the Committee of Escort. Ms. PELOSI. It is my 
honor to join


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  To new Members and your families, in this special moment I offer a 
special greeting and special congratulations. Each of us comes here 
sustained by the love of our own family and the trust of our 
constituents.
  I am grateful to my husband, Paul; our five children; nine 
grandchildren; and my D'Alesandro family, especially our patriarch, my 
brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III.
  To the people of San Francisco, thank you once again for the 
privilege of representing our beautiful and diverse city.
  In a brief span of days, we will inaugurate a new President, Donald 
Trump, and a new Vice President, our former colleague, Mike Pence. At 
that noon hour, we will enact the peaceful transfer of power that is 
the bedrock of our Republic.
  For 8 years, our country has been graced by the trailblazing 
leadership and dignity of President Obama and Michelle Obama. At their 
side have been Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden. Let us give the 
Obamas, the Bidens, and their families our thanks for all that they 
have given America.
  Today, as we celebrate the renewal of our democracy, let us pay 
tribute to the men and women in uniform--those who served or have 
served--and their families, whose sacrifice and bravery are guarantors 
of our democracy. Let us thank our men and women in uniform.
  In this Chamber, we stand at the very heart of the American 
experiment. Every time each of us steps onto the floor, we carry with 
us the hopes and the hurts of those who have sent us here.
  We surely have distinct political identities as Republicans and 
Democrats, but above all, we are all Americans. Here, we have the 
responsibility and the power to lift the lives and the hopes of the 
American people.
  Our first responsibility is to secure the Nation, embodied in the 
oath we take to support and defend. We must be strong and smart in 
defending our land, defeating terrorists, and advancing our vital 
interests in a world of promise and peril. America's actions must 
always be equal to America's values, honoring our Constitution and 
respecting our men and women in uniform.
  Another responsibility is to further secure our economy and truly 
secure opportunity for hardworking families. We in this Congress must 
focus on job creation and growing paychecks every day for everyone and 
everywhere in our country. From the rural heartlands, the cities, and 
the suburbs, we must ensure that those who do their part have the 
opportunity to buy a home, address the aspirations of their children, 
and retire with dignity.
  Our responsibility is also to secure our democracy. Our Founders 
pledged their sacred honor to create a democracy; a government of the 
many, not a government of the money. Now our sacred trust is to keep 
that covenant. We cannot permit our democracy to be suborned by the 
checkbooks of the powerful or to be subverted by the dark operations of 
a foreign regime.
  All of us cherish our ideals. We do have our differences, and they 
are real,

[[Page H5]]

but I hope that we will each be humble enough to accept the good faith 
of others. I hope, too, that we will find wisdom from the Scriptures. 
It says to minister to the needs of God's creation, humanity, and 
nature is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the 
God who made us.
  In that spirit, in order to meet the needs of the American people, 
House Democrats pledge to seek common ground wherever we can to forge a 
bipartisan path forward on job-creating infrastructure, make taxes and 
foreign trade fair to American workers, help Americans balance work and 
family life, and to drain the swamp of Big Money from our campaigns.
  All of these provisions President-elect Trump has pledged, and we 
will seek common ground, but we will stand our ground wherever in good 
conscience we must. If there is an attempt to destroy the guarantee of 
Medicare, harm Medicaid, Social Security, or the Affordable Care Act, 
Democrats will stand our ground.
  If there is an assault on clean air and clean water, civil rights, 
women's rights, or LGBT rights, if DREAMers and their immigrant 
families face the nightmare of deportation, Democrats will stand our 
ground. If there is an attempt to silence our voices for commonsense 
gun violence prevention, with Gabby Giffords here in the Chamber as our 
witness, Democrats will stand our ground.
  Many of us just celebrated Christmas, the birth of Christ. Sharing in 
our humanity, God enabled us to participate in his divinity. This spark 
of divinity is acknowledged in every faith tradition. In recognizing 
the spark in others, we reaffirm it in ourselves. Honoring that spark 
of divinity, we are commanded to respect the dignity and worth of all 
of God's children and to work together for the common good.
  In that spirit, I offer my congratulations to the Speaker of this new 
Congress, a proud son of Wisconsin, Paul Ryan.
  Paul Ryan is a leader of principle, immersed in ideas and gifted with 
experience. As we all know, Paul Ryan has had the full breadth of 
experience on Capitol Hill, from Tortilla Coast waiter to Hill staffer 
to Congressman. He went on to be a sincere and proud advocate for his 
point of view as chairman of the Budget Committee and chairman of the 
Ways and Means Committee.
  In a place as demanding as the Speakership, I know he gathers 
strength daily from the family he loves so dearly, from his wife, 
Janna; his children, Liza, Charlie, and Sam; and their entire family.
  Let us acknowledge the Ryan family.

                              {time}  1415

  Mr. Speaker, God bless them. God bless you. God bless Wisconsin. God 
bless the Members of this House. God bless the United States of 
America.
  This is the people's House. This is the people's gavel. In the 
people's name, it is my privilege to hand the gavel to the Speaker of 
the House, Paul D. Ryan.
  Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. I will be relatively brief. I want to thank 
Madam Leader. You know, I stood in this spot very, very many times. It, 
today, though, feels a whole lot different. Part of it has to do with 
all the new faces in the House. You look at all the proud spouses, 
these beaming children at their best, people's parents, it is hard, if 
not impossible, to resist this rush of enthusiasm.
  There is no sense of foreboding in this House today. There is only 
the sense of potential. It kind of reminds you that, no matter how long 
you have been here, you haven't seen it all. So I just want to say to 
our new Members and to their families: Thank you, congratulations, and 
welcome.
  To my own priest, Father Paul, thank you for being here with us 
today. I appreciate it.
  And to my center, my family--Janna, Liza, Charlie, Sam--thank you for 
all that you have done to make this all possible. Thank you.
  There is another reason for optimism, and that is what we have 
already achieved by meeting here this moment. Just months ago, our 
country held a great electoral contest, and at times it was a little 
intense. As you all know, when you are in the heat of it, in the heat 
of the kind of campaign we had, you start to wonder: Will the tempers 
ever cool? Will the system still hold? Does our old, rich tradition 
still have that magic? Well, it turns out it does.
  The clash of opinions, the hue and cry of campaigns, the rancor and 
the dissension, in the end, they all dissolve in the silent and 
peaceful transfer of power. So, in just a few weeks' time, we will 
welcome a new President who offers us yet another new beginning, a new 
chance to work toward a more perfect Union.
  For all of our arguments and all of our differences, we are all 
united by a deep, abiding love of our country. It is this slender but 
sturdy thread that holds us together. We always seem to forget this, 
but it has never failed us. That is why, when the votes are counted and 
the people have spoken, we all accept the verdict. We come back from 
the campaign trail, we pack up the yard signs, and today--today, as one 
body--we pledge allegiance to one flag: the red, the white, and the 
blue.
  And that is not the only thing that we have in common. I don't care 
what your party is, find one person in this House who doesn't want the 
best for America. Find one person in this House who does not want to 
see help given to the unemployed or care for the sick or education for 
the young or honor our troops. Who here among us does not want to open 
wide the door to opportunity? Who here among us does not want every 
American, every creed, and every color to cross the threshold? You 
cannot find one person in this building--not one. And that, that is a 
true cause for celebration.
  Now, we have a lot to build on; but that being said, this is no time 
to rest on our laurels, but to redouble our efforts. It is no secret 
that millions and millions of Americans across this country are deeply 
dissatisfied with their current situation. They have looked to 
Washington for leadership, and all they have gotten is condescension. 
For years, they have suffered quietly, quietly amid shuttered factories 
and shattered lives. But now, now they have let out a great roar. Now 
we, their elected representatives, must listen.
  So I want to say to the American people: We hear you. We will do 
right by you, and we will deliver. We will honor you because you have 
honored us. We take this sacred trust seriously. It is not enough to 
say that the condition of your birth should not determine the outcome 
of your life, no matter how much we mean it.
  In a few years' time, I hope that the people will say of this 115th 
Congress that we didn't just pay lipservice to this beautiful American 
idea; we made it a reality for everyone. We are not here to be; we are 
here to do. We are here to improve people's lives, grow our economy, 
keep us safe, improve our health care and our infrastructure, fight 
poverty, and restore self-government.
  Friends, we have got our work cut out for us. As your Speaker, I 
intend to keep this place running at full speed. When I came into this 
job, I pledged to restore regular order, get that committee system 
working again, hold regular House and Senate conferences, because only 
a fully functioning House can really, truly do the people's business.
  We have made some pretty good progress on that front. Take our work 
on finding cures for deadly diseases or beating back that opioid 
epidemic or our work on mental health. These are all things that we 
should be very proud of. These efforts were directed by the committees 
and crafted by our Members--all through regular order. There is still a 
lot of work to do, like having a fully functioning appropriations 
process, for example.
  So, to the minority, I want to say this: We have never shied away 
from our disagreements, and I do not expect anyone to do so now. But 
however bright of a contrast that we draw between us, it must never 
blind us to the common ground that we share. We must never shy away 
from making progress for the American people wherever we can. As your 
Speaker, I promise to uphold the rights of the minority. I promise to 
hear you out and let you have your say. If I had to sum up, it would be 
this: Agreement whenever possible but, at all times, respect.
  And to the majority, especially to our returning Members, I want to 
say this: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is the kind of 
thing that most of us only dreamed about. I know because I used to 
dream about this a lot. The people have given us unified

[[Page H6]]

government, and it wasn't because they were feeling generous. It was 
because they want results. How could we live with ourselves if we let 
them down? How could we let ourselves down?

  I have, for many months, been asking our Members to raise their gaze 
and aim high. Now, today, this Congress, let us not be timid but, 
rather, reach for that brighter horizon and deliver. This old Chamber 
might look the same, but in the hushed whispers, in the whirl of 
activity, you can feel the winds of change. As I stand here next to 
that portrait of good old George Washington, I am reminded of a line 
from one of his favorite plays: `` 'Tis not in mortals to command 
success, but we'll do more . . . we'll deserve it.''
  My dear friends and colleagues, I say to all of you: Good luck and 
Godspeed. Thank you very much.
  I am now ready to take the oath of office.
  I ask the Dean of the House of Representatives, the Honorable John 
Conyers of Michigan, to administer the oath of office.
  Mr. Conyers then administered the oath of office to Mr. Ryan of 
Wisconsin, as follows:

       Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will support and 
     defend the Constitution of the United States against all 
     enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith 
     and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation 
     freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; 
     and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of 
     the office on which you are about to enter, so help you God.

  (Applause, the Members rising.)
  Mr. CONYERS. Congratulations, Mr. Speaker.

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