John Boehner won a second two-year term as speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday.
Despite a few Republicans holding back support for him, Boehner beat Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi by 220-192 votes, on the first day of a new Congress.
"The American Dream is in peril so long as its namesake is weighed down by this anchor of debt. Break its hold, and we begin to set our economy free. Jobs will come home. Confidence will come back," Boehner said. "We do this not just to boost GDP or reduce unemployment, but to secure for our children a future of freedom and opportunity. Nothing is more important."
No Republican had stepped forward to oppose Boehner and with his party controlling the chamber, 233 to 200 with two vacancies, he looked set to retain his post.
Some Republicans have criticized Boehner for dragging his feet on aid for storm Sandy victims in the Northeast and backing tax hikes on the wealthy sought by President Barack Obama to avert the "fiscal cliff" of steep tax increases and spending cuts.
Minority Democrats offered token opposition at the speakership vote, nominating their leader, Nancy Pelosi, as speaker.