WASHINGTON, Paul Ryan, the top-ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, announced he will not seek re-election on Wednesday.
“This year will be my last one as a member of the House,” Ryan said at a press briefing following a closed-door meeting with Republicans, in which he broke the news he is not seeking re-election as Speaker of the House. “I will be retiring in January, leaving this majority in good hands with what I believe is a very bright future.” Ryan indicated he will stay on as House Speaker until the end of the year, a post he’s held since 2015. He noted to reporters that he took the job “reluctantly”, when he took over from former Speaker John Boehner, but he also said he has no “regrets.” In a tweet, President Donald Trump, who has at times fought with Ryan, praised him: “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 news of his retirement raises questions about whether Republicans will maintain majority control over the U.S. House. as tough midterm elections loom in November.
Democrats called Ryan’s retirement a signal the Republican party may take big losses in the midterm election and possibly lose the House majority and speakership. However, Ryan said that the 2018 midterms and the chance that he wouldn’t be speaker did not factor into his decision to announce his retirement.
The two most likely to replace him are Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise, of Louisiana though Scalise has said he won’t run against McCarthy.
In 2012 Ryan was the Republican candidate for vice president on Mitt Romney’s ticket, and was considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016 but did not run.
Source: Kuwait News Agency