Paul Ryan has been telling those close to him that he will announce he will not run for re-election this year and will retire from Congress.
“This morning Speaker Ryan shared with his colleagues that this will be his last year as a member of the House,” said Ryan aide Brendan Buck in a statement. “He will serve out his full term, run through the tape, and then retire in January. After nearly twenty years in the House, the speaker is proud of all that has been accomplished and is ready to devote more of his time to being a husband and a father.”
The announcement comes as House Republicans cling to a tenuous hold on the House, which many worry may flip to a Democratic majority after the November midterm elections
The House speaker, who has been in Congress since 1999, was rumored to be tiring of the draining job after passing tax reform in December, a top priority for Ryan over his political career.
“This is a Titanic, tectonic shift,” an unidentified Republican told Axios. “This is going to make every Republican donor believe the House can’t be held.”
Ryan, 48, reluctantly took the job of speaker under pressure in October of 2015, even while saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tyler Law argued Ryan “sees what is coming in November, and is calling it quits rather than standing behind a House Republican agenda,” referring to a Democratic sweep.
Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise are both eyeing Ryan’s job, although McCarthy is considered the favorite, and Scalise has stated he will not run against McCarthy “for anything.”
More than three dozen House Republicans will leave Congress in 2018, some unhappy with President Trump and concerned about the midterm elections, fearing a blue wave in November.
The Wisconsin Republican is expected to speak about his decision at a private meeting with House Republicans Wednesday.
President Trump tweeted a farewell to Ryan, calling him a “truly good man” who leaves a “legacy of achievement.”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
Ryan discussed his retirement from Congress on Wednesday at a press conference with Republican leadership, mentioning his children as a primary reason for leaving.
“What I realize is if I am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad. I just can’t let that happen,” Ryan said. “So I will be setting new priorities in my life, but I will be leaving incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
“I think we’ve achieved a lot. I did not seek this job I took it reluctantly but I have given this job everything I have,” Ryan stated.