House Speaker Paul Ryan not running for re-election - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

House Speaker Paul Ryan not running for re-election

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) has announced that he will not seek re-election. (Source: CNN) Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) has announced that he will not seek re-election. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced Wednesday he would not run for re-election, but he plans on serving out his term.

"You all know that I did not seek this job," he said at a news conference. "I took it reluctantly, but I gave this job everything I have."

He said he felt the House had achieved "a heck of a lot" during his time as speaker. He also said a factor in his decision to retire was his family. 

"If I am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad," Ryan said. "I just cannot let that happen."

CNN reported Ryan informed President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of his decision, as well as fellow House members privately, before making it public.

Axios reported that Ryan is ready to step aside because of the passage of the tax reform bill, and is ready for a career in the private sector. Republicans are also facing a difficult midterm election season, but Ryan said that had no influence on his retirement.

"I have every confidence I will be handing this gavel on to the next Republican Speaker of the House next year," he said.

The two likely candidates to replace him are House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of California, and Steve Scalise, the Majority Whip.

As Ryan approached the podium, Trump complimented the outgoing speaker on Twitter. 

"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," Trump tweeted. "We are with you Paul!"

Ryan faced a strong challenge for his re-election bid from Randy Bryce, a Democratic challenger for Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District seat, who boasted Wednesday that he outraised the incumbent by $1.75 million in the first three months of 2018.

In March, a political website changed the rating for Ryan's district from "safely Republican" to "likely Republican," Wisconsin Public Radio reported. Two Democratic challengers are vying for the party's nomination, Bryce and Cathy Myers.

Ryan took over as Speaker in 2012 after John Boehner resigned his position, and Kevin McCarthy took himself out of consideration for the position.

Initially, Ryan said he did not want the position, but then said he would if certain conditions were met, including the different groups of the Republican Party uniting to support him. Three factions ended up supporting him, and he became the youngest speaker at age 45 to be elected since 1869. 

Born Jan. 29, 1970, Ryan rose to political notoriety when he was chosen by 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to be his vice presidential candidate. Ryan was chairman of the House Budget Committee and it was his experience in that area that was cited as the primary reason for his inclusion on the ticket.

Congress was mired in partisan budget talks at the time, approving limited spending appropriations as emergency measures rather than passing a full budget.

He served as the chairman of the House Budget Committee from 2011-15 and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in 2015, which is primarily responsible for tax policy issues, but also oversees Medicare, Social Security and unemployment benefits.

Ryan was elected to Congress as a representative of Wisconsin's 1st District in 1999, becoming the second-youngest member of the House of Representatives.

His voting record was considered to be among the most conservative in the House in decades and was rated as the furthest from the political center to be nominated by either major political party.

Ryan graduated from Miami (OH) University with degrees in political science and economics and interned for a Wisconsin senator.

As a representative, Ryan sponsored many bills, but most failed to pass. The only successful ones were not of national significance and included the renaming of a post office in his district and a tax reduction on hunting equipment. Ryan was an avid hunter and fisherman.

Ryan ran for re-election in Congress and as vice president concurrently in 2012, winning re-election for his seat in Congress. He and Romney lost the White House bid. He accepted Romney's nomination on the deck of USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, VA.

After losing the election, Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) agreed on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. Obama signed it into law later that year.

Ryan was tapped to succeed John Boehner as Speaker of the House in October 2015. Ryan initially said he was not interested and released a statement that said, "I will not be a candidate."

Boehner had encouraged Ryan to seek the position to help unify a fractured party that was threatening to remove Boehner from his position. Boehner resigned from Congress rather than face an ouster. Two weeks after declining to seek the position, Ryan reversed his decision at the encouragement of other Republicans in the House and he was elected.

Being elected as Speaker of the House put Ryan second in line to succeed the president, one position lower than had he been elected vice president.

Ryan's political positions placed him solidly in the conservative wing of the Republican Party. He was anti-abortion, voted against federal funding for Planned Parenthood, supported lower tax rates, opposed the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), opposed same-sex marriage, opposed restriction on gun ownership and favored a ban on flag-burning, which the Supreme Court had upheld as a protected form of speech under the First Amendment.

Ryan was both the first vice presidential candidate and first Speaker of the House from Wisconsin.

Ryan was noted for an intense workout routine, sleeping on a cot in his office in the U.S. Capitol and returning to his home in Janesville, WI, every weekend. Ryan and his wife, Janna, have three children.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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