House Speaker Ryan to step down

House Speaker Paul Ryan announces he will not seek another term in Congress.

Ben Ariel,

Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan
Reuters

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced on Wednesday that he will not seek another term in Congress and will step down in November, Politico reported.

Ryan said he intended to serve out his term as speaker but wanted more time with his family. Sources familiar with his decision said Ryan has made clear this will be his last job in politics.

"You all know that I did not seek this job. I took it reluctantly," Ryan was quoted as having told reporters at a press conference. "But I have given it all that I have and have no regrets having accepted this responsibility. This has been one of the two greatest honors of my life."

"But the truth is it’s easy to take over everything in your life, and you can’t just let that happen because there are other things in life that can be fleeting as well — namely your time as a husband and a dad, which is the other great honor of my life. And that’s why today I am announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the House," he added.

The announcement will set off a mad dash within the House Republican Conference to replace Ryan. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) are both eyeing the top spot, according to Politico.

Ryan clashed with then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. He initially said he was not “ready to support” Trump as the Republican presidential candidate, before ultimately endorsing him.

The Speaker was still critical of Trump at times, notably distancing himself from Trump after leaked video tapes surfaced, showing him making graphic comments about women.

Trump related to Ryan’s decision in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.

“Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question. We are with you Paul!” the President wrote.

According to Politico, Ryan originally intended to run for reelection and then retire after the midterm elections so he could continue raising money to protect the House GOP majority. Some senior Republicans worried that if he announced his intention to retire earlier, donors might hold back desperately needed cash in a tough midterm campaign.

Ryan said he couldn't in good conscience tell his constituents to vote for him when he knew he wouldn't be in Washington next year. A source familiar with his decision said made his decision in consultation with his wife over the spring congressional recess.

Ryan called GOP leaders as well as Trump and Vice President Mike Pence personally on Wednesday morning to tell them the news, according to Politico.




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