Speaker Ryan announces retirement at end of term

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But at the time he also said that, after 20 years in Congress, he would sit down with his wife later this year to map out their future. Back then David Henderson, an Iowa Republican, abruptly announced he would not seek reelection just two months before Election Day.

The pair have frequently butted heads since Mr Trump entered the White House but were successful achieving their shared dream of passing substantial tax cuts late a year ago.

"Speaker Ryan has served our country well for decades as a thoughtful policy leader in the House", he told CNN. Of the 63 House speakers in the nation's history, more have died in office than simply made a decision to retire ahead of an election. "If I stay, they're only going to know me we a weekend dad and that's something, I, in good conscience, can't do".

The House speaker is second in the line of presidential succession, after the vice president.

Republican Mr Ryan's plans have been the source of much speculation and will set off a scramble among his lieutenants to take the helm.

Beyond November, Ryan's self-defenestration could return House Republicans to the state of constant factional conflict in which they lived during the tenure of his predecessor, John Boehner. He dismissed questions about whether he was leaving because he fears Democrats will win control of the House in the 2018 elections.

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Massie was the only Republican to vote against Ryan for speaker. They stifled any and all attempts to enact sensible gun laws.

So what does it mean that Ryan is stepping away now, 15 months later, at the apex of his party's power?

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks at a news conference with Republican leaders after a closed conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2018. The economy is strong, we have given Americans greater confidence in their lives, and I have every confidence that I'll be handing this gavel on to the next Republican Speaker of the House next year.

Ryan, a Republican who has served almost 20 years in the House of Representatives for the people of Wisconsin, will serve the remainder of his term and then retire in January 2019.

And then of course there's the Trump factor.

In a recent interview with Conservative Review, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said there are "no suitable candidates" among current leadership to take over for Ryan because "they fundamentally don't understand what the job description is".

From this perspective, Ryan's retirement is an effect rather than a cause of electoral agony for his party. Even if the US economy is able to expand at a three percent annual clip (a threshold it hasn't hit in more than a decade), there is nothing short of fiscal armageddon ahead.

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