President Obama said he regrets that the rancor between the parties has grown during his watch. "I guarantee I'll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office," he said. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., during his end-of-year news conference. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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"My goal is to help unify the conservative movement."
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At a news conference following a closed-door GOP caucus meeting, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., dismisses Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's comments on Muslims. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is among a hand of Republican Presidential candidates to weigh in on the shooting at a Colorado-based Planned Parenthood clinic over the weekend. John Raoux/AP hide caption

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"This is the loneliest place in the world," House Speaker John Boehner said on the eve of his resignation. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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"Just a regular guy"
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House Speaker John Boehner vowed to "clean the barn" before he stepped down. And he's doing just that with a budget deal that also raises the debt ceiling. Robert Giroux/Getty Images hide caption

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House Speaker John Boehner has said he wants to "clean the barn" before he leaves Congress. And it appears he's edging closer to a two-year budget deal that would take some pressure off his successor. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., at a news conference following a meeting of House Republicans on Tuesday night. Ryan says he will run for House speaker if the disparate GOP factions can get behind him. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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Rep. Paul Ryan told GOP lawmakers that he will run for speaker, but only if they embrace him by week's end as their consensus candidate, an ambitious bid to impose unity on a disordered and divided Republican conference. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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"There's a reason everybody's looking at Paul — he is the consensus choice," fellow Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said of Rep. Paul Ryan. "Other people may be able to step up to the plate, may be able to forge that consensus. But we already know Paul has already forged it." Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Meet Paul Ryan, The Man Who Might Be House Speaker
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House Speaker John Boehner is yet again facing a backlash from conservatives over his approach in trying to avoid a government shutdown. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is interviewed for TV in September 2014. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Paul Ryan: Trade Deal Will Help U.S. 'Set The Standards For The Global Economy'
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Clinton-era Treasury secretary and former Obama economic adviser Lawrence Summers last week in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Lawrence Summers on deficit reduction, investment and morality
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