House Speaker Paul Ryan announced on April 11th that he will not run for reelection and has plans to retire from Congress after this year.
Although some sources have indicated that this is a surprise move, it is quite logical and makes a lot of sense for Ryan. It has been rumored for months that the Wisconsin Republican would retire rather than pursue another term as House Speaker. Ryan said that he plans to finish his full term as Speaker of the House before making his exit in January.
The Majority Leader told reporters that he “reluctantly” took the job as the GOP’s top legislator in 2015. Prior to being named as the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan was the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Ryan was coaxed into service by party strategists who thought that he could bridge the gap between the party’s activist and establishment wings. He says that he has no regrets about serving in the House but believes that he has done his part and that it is time for him to retire.
Ryan went into service under the condition that he would still be able to spend most weekends with his kids. But, that has proven difficult, which is one of the factors that lead to Ryan’s decision to retire. The father of three told reporters that his kids are not getting any younger, and he doesn’t want to be a “weekend dad”. He did not want to get to the point where the position took over his life. Ryan said that he could not, in good conscience, do that to his kids.
Although Ryan would no doubt be a favorite in the race, the fight would take up a lot of his time, money and energy. And, it is clear that he wants to spend more time with his family. If Ryan were to run, he would face four competitive challengers for his seat — Two Republican and two Democratic, including Cathy Myers and Randy Bryce.
To be sure, Ryan’s retirement gives the two Democrats a better change. The former ironworker and Army veteran Bryce dubbed “Iron Stache” has drawn national attention in the past for his pointed attacks on Ryan. Bryce, a Latino and former cancer survivor as well, is a strong candidate in the election. He supports Medicare for all, and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The candidate also favors Paid Family Medical Leave and better job safety.
Ryan’s retirement does create some uncertainty for the GOP. The party is already bracing for a tough year ahead. His exit will rob Trump of an influential House Speaker to help him pass some of his more enterprising ideas into legislation. It will also leave congressional Republicans without a calm speaker to convince Trump to turn away from his more damaging impulses.
In spite of the fact that Ryan took the job reluctantly, he accepted the responsibility and did an admirable job. After nearly 20 years in office, Ryan is proud of everything that he has accomplished. The Speaker focused on a variety of issues, including holding the Internal Revenue Service accountable, fixing the broken tax code, repairing the safety net, strengthening Social Security and Medicare and prompting job-trade agreements. Ryan also worked hard to make healthcare more affordable.
As the 54th Speaker in the House of Representatives and former vice presidential candidate, Ryan has accomplished his goals. He is well-known and respected for his commitment to public service and his policy initiatives. The 48-year-old House Speaker said that his time in office has inspired him to do big things. Ryan served 10 terms representing his southern Wisconsin hometown.
So, what will Ryan do next? It is likely that the politician will turn to interest and think-tank group work once he retires. It makes sense that after 20 years in Congress, he would return to this type of work.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter