Speaker Paul Ryan to Retire from Congress

Multiple outlets report Ryan will inform colleagues today.

Mother Jones illustration

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.