Washington (CNN) Rep. Paul Ryan told House Republicans on Tuesday he is willing to serve as speaker and will make a decision within the week -- but only if his conditions are met.
Ryan laid out his guidelines in a closed-door session with the full House GOP conference after weeks of lobbying from senior members of his party for him to take on the difficult task of leading the divided conference -- a job Ryan repeatedly said he has never wanted.
"I came to the conclusion that this is a very dire moment -- not just for Congress, not just for the Republican Party, but for our country. And I think our country is in desperate need of leadership," Ryan told reporters after addressing his colleagues.
Ryan told his colleagues he is willing to take "arrows in the chest but not in the back," a GOP source inside the meeting told CNN.
"We need to move from an opposition party to being a proposition party." - Paul Ryancontinue at CNN
This chart shows why Republicans are in a much stronger position than you think http://wpo.st/kx1i0
"The best thing I can assume is that [Paul Ryan' really doesn’t want the job [of Speaker of the House]."
Harry Reid backs Paul Ryan for Speaker: "If it helps him, fine; if it doesn't, too bad" http://hill.cm/tP2fGYW