Speaker Ryan tells GOP colleagues: ‘We must deliver’

Associated Press

Washington — House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republican lawmakers Monday that it’s time to “hit the ground running as we join forces with the new Trump administration.”

“We need to seize this moment, and come together like never before,” Ryan told fellow House GOP lawmakers in a letter seeking their support in his re-election for speaker.

The Wisconsin Republican circulated the letter as Congress reconvened for a lame-duck session following Republican Donald Trump’s election as president.

House Republicans were widely expecting to return to Washington this week to plan for life under a Democratic administration and possibly a Democratic-controlled Senate. Instead they find themselves in full control of Washington and are elated at the opportunity to get their pent-up legislative goals signed into law.

House Republicans will hold closed-door leadership elections on Tuesday and Ryan is expected to be re-elected as speaker — despite mumblings of discontent from a few conservative lawmakers. He has served in the job for a year.

“Serving as speaker is a tremendous honor, and one I do not take for granted,” Ryan wrote. “I am running for re-election so that we can continue what we have started and make 2017 a year of action. I ask for your vote, and I ask for your support at the start of this great undertaking.”

Ryan had clashed with Trump in the course of the campaign, including initially withholding his endorsement, which angered some conservative House members and appeared to irritate Trump. But since the election Ryan has been effusive in his praise for Trump and enthusiasm over their potential joint agenda, even though Trump has shown no enthusiasm for the large-scale overhauls of Medicare and Social Security that Ryan has pushed for years.

As the House was coming back into session Monday, some 50 newly elected House members were arriving in the capital to learn the ropes of their new jobs — much like college freshmen.