We are with you Paul!'
House Speaker Paul Ryan's announcement that he plans to give up his gavel at the end of this Congress without waiting to see if voters tear it from his grasp in November wasn't a total surprise; it had been rumored for months, despite regular denials from his camp. But talk among donors of writing off the House as a lost cause this early in the cycle could represent a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Passing the "tax reform" and hugely boosting military budget were his two proudest accomplishments, Ryan victory-lapped.
Ryan credited his own good conscience for not going that route: "Just as my conscience is what got me to take this job in the first place, my conscience wouldn't let me go out that way", he simpered at his presser.
Either House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) or Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is expected to replace Ryan as House speaker, Politico reports. He also added, "We [Republicans] will be fine as a majority".
Rumors of Ryan's departure had been circulating for months, even after he seemed to dismiss them late a year ago.
At a time of insecurity regarding their majority in the House of Representatives, the news will likely prompt a scramble among Republicans for the key post.
The Wisconsin Republican, who long said his ambition was his previous role as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, will always be able to point to having pushed a monumental overhaul of the tax code through during his speakership.
Ryan's announcement marked the latest upheaval in Washington in the second year of Trump's presidency, following the firings and resignations of a series of senior White House officials and Cabinet members. "We should all be grateful for his sacrifice and understand his desire to be a full time Dad". "Progressives need to fight as tirelessly on behalf of working people as Speaker Ryan did trying to destroy them", he said. He did not seek the job of Speaker, but he stepped up to serve during a challenging time in our Nation's history.
"Speaker Ryan has served our country well for decades as a thoughtful policy leader in the House", he told CNN.
"I wish Paul and his family much happiness and best of luck on all his future endeavors".
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". "And on that score, I think we have achieved a heck of a lot", he said.