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Paul Ryan is considering retiring after 2018 midterm elections: Report

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan is contemplating retirement following the 2018 midterm elections, Politico reported Thursday.
  • In his remaining time in office, Ryan intends to get tax reform signed into law, and then tackle social safety net reform.
  • A spokesman for Ryan said the Speaker "is not going anywhere any time soon."

House Speaker Paul Ryan is considering retiring after the 2018 midterm elections, Politico reported Thursday. A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Republican called the reports "pure speculation."

"As the speaker himself said today, he's not going anywhere any time soon," AshLee Strong, a Ryan aide, wrote on Twitter.

Reports that Ryan was thinking about retiring also reached the White House, where press secretary Sarah Sanders said they prompted President Donald Trump to reach out to the Speaker.

Trump "made sure that the Speaker knew, very clearly and in no uncertain terms, that if that news was true, he was very unhappy with it," Sanders told reporters at the daily press briefing.

In response, she said, Ryan "assured the president that those were not accurate reports, and that they looked forward to working together for a long time to come."

From Politico:

"Ryan was tiring of D.C. even before reluctantly accepting the speakership. He told his predecessor, John Boehner, that it would be his last job in politics—and that it wasn't a long-term proposition. In the months following Trump's victory, he began contemplating the scenarios of his departure. More recently, over closely held conversations with his kitchen cabinet, Ryan's preference has become clear: He would like to serve through Election Day 2018 and retire ahead of the next Congress. This would give Ryan a final legislative year to chase his second white whale, entitlement reform, while using his unrivaled fundraising prowess to help protect the House majority—all with the benefit of averting an ugly internecine power struggle during election season. Ryan has never loved the job; he oozes aggravation when discussing intra-party debates over "micro-tactics," and friends say he feels like he's running a daycare center. On a personal level, going home at the end of next year would allow Ryan, who turns 48 next month, to keep promises to family; his three children are in or entering their teenage years, and Ryan, whose father died at 55, wants desperately to live at home with them full-time before they begin flying the nest. The best part of this scenario, people close to the speaker emphasize: He wouldn't have to share the ballot with Trump again in 2020."