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It’s official: We’re now in the Paul Ryan era. The Wisconsin congressman was confirmed as the 54th House speaker on Thursday.

Now comes the hard part (per The New York Times):

Mr. Boehner, 65, came into the job a seasoned leader who tried to appease the Tea Party members whose elections helped usher Republicans into the majority. Mr. Ryan, 45, the youngest speaker since 1869, comes in warning those members that he expects them to have his back.

[…]The spending bills already drafted are replete with conservative policy prescriptions, from crippling Mr. Obama’s signature health care law to blocking his climate change and financial regulations. Mr. Ryan will have to decide how far to push that clash with the president, knowing a government shutdown just before Christmas could be at stake.

Beyond the new year, Mr. Ryan will have to determine how much the election year will be about campaigning versus legislating. The 13-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade pact Mr. Ryan has backed strongly — will be pending before Congress. Major bills to revise George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind education law, bolster cybersecurity and overhaul criminal justice laws are making their way through Congress.

In the meantime, his right flank is itching to move forward with efforts sure to stoke the party’s conservative base but possibly provoke a backlash. Moves are already afoot to impeach the Internal Revenue Service commissioner, John Koskinen, and the Special Select Committee on Benghazi has signaled it is not about to give up its pursuit of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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