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Outgoing Speaker Boehner: Paul Ryan Would Make 'Great Speaker'

by Halimah Abdullah /

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Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner said Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would make a "great speaker" and said he felt the lawmaker would get the support he's looking for.

"He’s a very good member," Boehner said. "He works hard. He is very bright and has a good relationship with all wings of the party."

Ryan said Tuesday night that he would run for House speaker — but only if his Republican colleagues meet several conditions.

Boehner said elections on leadership could occur next week.

Related: Paul Ryan Says He'll Run for Speaker, but Only on His Terms

In the weeks since Boehner, an Ohio Republican, announced his retirement last month, Ryan — the Republicans' vice presidential nominee in 2012 — hadn't definitely said whether he wanted the job of herding the notoriously fractious Republican caucus, despite urging from colleagues across the political spectrum.

That ended Tuesday night at a meeting of the House Republican Conference, where Ryan told fellow Republicans that he would run if the caucus unifies around a positive message of big ideas.

"We need to move from an opposition party to a proposition party," Ryan told reporters. "If I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve."

Boehner also said the hefty fundraising responsibilities, usually considered part of the House Speaker's de fact role, could possible be adjusted. Ryan, who has young children had previously expressed concerns that long hours would keep him from his family.

Boehner and other Republican leaders also hit back on Wednesday against the president’s vow to veto a defense authorization bill—part of an ongoing funding showdown between the administration and GOP lawmakers.

“While the legislation gives the President every dollar he asked for defense, he is threatening to take the unprecedented step of vetoing the bill for political leverage to extract additional spending for other domestic programs,” Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services committee said in a statement late last week.

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