Speaker Ryan to Resign at End of Term

Elizabeth Gregory

Speaker Paul Ryan announced last Wednesday that he will not run for re-election and plans to retire from his position representing Wisconsin’s first district and leading the United States House of Representatives in January 2019.

“With teenagers at home, I do another term, and they will really only know me as a weekend dad,” Ryan said of the motivation behind his decision. He made the announcement in a press conference on Capitol Hill. Ryan told the press that he had accepted the job reluctantly, and it did not allow for enough time to be with his family.

“My kids weren’t even born when I was first elected,” Ryan said. Ryan has served in Congress for the past 20 years.

Ryan said he counts reforming the tax code and rebuilding the military has his two biggest legislative accomplishments as Speaker.

“When I took this job, one of my conditions was that we aim high, that we do big things, that we fashion an agenda, that we run on that agenda, that we win an election, and then we execute that agenda.”

Ryan touted the passage of over 500 bills in the House of Representatives during his tenure. He said he wished the Senate had been able to pass them so they could be sent to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

He said he plans to continue to move legislation through the House prior to his resignation.

“We’re moving on to our workforce development agenda, which is focused on streamlining career and technical education and getting people from welfare to work,” Ryan said.

“We think that’s really important… It’s what we said we would do in our Better Way agenda and what we are going to be executing in the weeks to come.”

He announced his decision last week, saying it felt dishonest to ask his constituents in Wisconsin to reelect him knowing he would be resigning following his reelection. Ryan dismissed the idea that the threat of Democrats taking the majority influenced his decision. He also stated that he did not think his retirement would negatively affect other House races.

“I really don’t think a person’s race for Congress is going to hinge on whether Paul Ryan is speaker or not,” according to a quote given to the Wisconsin Radio Network.  Despite his forthcoming retirement, Ryan said he plans to continue fundraising for other candidates. He said that he has helped raise more money for Republicans than any Speaker in history.

On his relationship with the president, he said, “I’m grateful to the president for giving us this opportunity to do big things to get us on the right track.”

His statement to the press featured a common thread that he is not done with his work in the House until January.

“We’ve rebuilt the military… We’ve deregulated the economy…We’re onto workforce development and infrastructure,” Ryan said.