The Washington Post has just reported through its breaking news system that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will not seek reelection.
According to the Post, Ryan (R-Wis.) has told several of his congressional house colleagues as well as his close friends about his decision. They said that he will soon make a public announcement and tell all of his fellow House Republicans about his decision to retire from what is possibly the most powerful position in the U.S. Congress.
There is no information yet as to what his future plans are if he is not in the House, but he has often spoken about his desires to spend more time with his family.
Ryan’s decision to forego his House position has come during a time when many in his party fear the worst in the upcoming midterm elections. Independent political observers as well as most Democrats are predicting that 2018 will usher in a “Blue Wave” election where the Democratic Party will take back control of the House of Representatives as well as possibly the U.S. Senate.
The Republican Party has seen several dozen members of Congress announce that they will not be seeking reelection, so now Ryan joins that growing list. But he is definitely the most prominent member of the group.
Ryan’s announcement that he is leaving will further erode the morale of Republicans who are trying to retain power in Washington. They are hoping that they can in some way dampen the enthusiasm of progressives and Democrats who believe they will be taking back Congress due to the unpopularity of both President Trump and the policies of the GOP Congress.
Ryan was elected Speaker of the House in 2015 as a replacement for retiring Speaker John Boehner who had expressed frustration and inability to effectively do his job due to the roadblocks to consensus caused by the rebellious Tea Party group within the Republican caucus.
Ryan became a nationally known figure after he was selected to be GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate in 2012. As a result he was a natural choice to replace Boehner, but he has since clashed with not only the Tea Party but also President Trump himself.
Ryan’s announcement was expected by many but still will send shockwaves through all of Washington, and may even help the Democrats’ cause in 2018 and increase the chances of the big Blue Wave that they hope for.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.