Speaker Paul Ryan to Retire from Congress

Multiple outlets report Ryan will inform colleagues today.

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Facing the potential loss of the House of Representatives to Democrats this fall, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) will not seek re-election in November. Axios first reported the news. His retirement sends a signal to Republican members and donors that the party’s chances of holding a majority in November are narrowing and could depress morale among GOP members.

Ryan prefers to leave Congress than preside over a slim Republican majority or serve as minority leader, according to Axios. Morever, he can say he achieved his dream of passing a tax reform bill. That bill slashed taxes for the rich and is growing the deficit. During the Trump presidency, Ryan has been a supporter of the president as well as House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a close ally of Trump, who has sought to undermine the Russia investigation.

After he leaves Congress, either Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) or Steve Scalise (R-La.), the second and third ranking House Republicans, respectively, will likely succeed Ryan as party leader.


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  • Pema Levy

    Pema Levy is a reporter at Mother Jones. Reach her at plevy [at] motherjones [dot] com.