By Vicki Needham - 12/12/13 07:17 PM EST
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he was “surprised” with the high vote tally his two-year budget deal garnered on Thursday night.
“It was much higher than I expected, I was pleasantly surprised,” he told reporters in the Capitol.
The 332-94 vote was a major victory for the House Budget Committee chairman, who put himself on the line by negotiating a deal with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), his Senate counterpart.
Only 62 Republicans broke with Ryan, despite opposition from several outside conservative groups.
Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee and a potential 2016 contender, said many of his colleagues thanked him for bringing “some normalcy back to this place.”
He said he and Murray set out to complete an agreement ahead of the Friday's deadline by keeping their emotions in check.
“That's the key: try to understand each other, get to know each other and talk things out,” he said.
“We always kept things calm, kept things professional, just talked a lot.”
Ryan said his colleagues are looking forward in the next year to “doing the things that we want to do instead of fighting over shutdowns all of the time.”
“I think my colleagues are going home excited to come back in 2014 because they can start afresh to do the things that they came here to do in the first place,” Ryan said.