By Miriam Raftery
April 11, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced that he will not seek reelection, the Washington Post reports.
Some political pundits have speculated that predictions that Democrats may take back control of Congress after the November mid-term elections could have been a factor in Ryan’s decision.
But the Wisconsin Republican says he wants to spend more time with his family, adding, “What I realized is if I serve for one more term, my kids will only have known me as a weekend dad.”
Ryan accepted the speaker position only reluctantly in 2015, when John Bohner retired.
A staunch conservative, Ryan is best known for his efforts at tax reform, an effort that culminated in passage of the landmark tax reform bill under the Trump administration. He has served in Congress since 1999 and was also the Vice Presidential nominee in 2012 when Mitt Romney ran for President.
With a federal probe raising the potential for impeachment if President Trump is found to have obstructed justice or involvement in any illegal activities, who will replace Ryan, is a critical question, since under the Constitution, the Speaker of the House is third in the line of succession, after the President and Vice President.
Ryan’s departure could potentially make it harder for Republicans to retain their majority in the House, according to some political analysts.
He is the latest in a long string of Republicans who have announced they will not seek reelection to Congress, some anticipating a “blue wave” in November’s midterm elections from voters who object to Trump administration policies on issues ranging from a hard-line immigration stance to proposed cuts in Social Security and healthcare.
Regardless of which party controls Congress come January, the likelihood that a Californian will be named to the powerful Speakership position is high.
If Republicans retain control of the House, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy from California is a likely choice to replace Paul Ryan as Speaker. Should Democrats take back control, Californian Nancy Pelosi, the current Minority Leader and former Speaker of the House, could be named to the position once again.