Paul Ryan Probably Never Knew How Many Of His Colleagues Loved Him Until Now

Robert Donachie | Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

Members of the House and Senate had nothing but praise for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan after he announced Wednesday he will not seek reelection in November.

Ryan officially announced Wednesday morning that he will not seek re-election in November after months of speculation as to whether or not he would throw in his name for another term.

“I wanted to share with you a little of what I just told my colleagues a few minutes ago. You realize something when you take this job, it’s a big job with a lot riding on you and you feel it,” Ryan said Wednesday. “But you also note this is a job that does not last forever. You realize that you hold the office for just a small part of our history, so you better make the most of it. That’s why today I’m announcing that they shall be my last one as a member of the House.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his colleagues on the Senate floor Wednesday that Ryan is a perfect example of a selfless, dedicated member of Congress.

“Paul has paired that ambitious agenda with infectious good cheer and an unflagging commitment to serve all Americans. Amidst all the stresses and pressures of leadership, Paul’s optimism and energy never waned. It has been a sincere pleasure and a real inspiration to work alongside this humble servant and happy warrior,” McConnell said Wednesday.

Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Ryan has been “an avid advocate for his point of view and for the people of his district,” adding that both she and her colleagues “wish Paul the best in the next chapter of his career.”

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, a Republican, said Ryan has always been someone who is willing to put the interests of nation above his own.

“Paul has always been the smartest kid in the class. He is brilliant, strategic, selfless, and an incredible communicator. He has always been willing to put the interests of others, and the interests of his country, above his own,” Gowdy said in a statement. “To say Paul will be missed in Congress is an extreme understatement … I wish Paul, Janna, and their three precious children all the best.”

GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch said that because of Ryan’s leadership “our nation is better off.”

“Speaker Ryan has been a dear friend for a number of years, and I’m proud of everything we have been able to accomplish together,” Hatch said Wednesday. “I wish him and Janna the very best as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives.”

Other Republican senators expressed their appreciation for Ryan on Twitter, offering the outgoing speaker the best of luck in the next chapter of his life.

Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence weighed in on the Ryan’s decision to retire, offering their support for the speaker and thanking him for successfully pushing the president’s agenda.

“Under his leadership, House Republicans delivered for the American people. Paul Ryan has been a fierce defender of our military, a leader in ushering historic tax reform through Congress, and a public servant with a heart for helping lift up the less fortunate,” Pence told reporters.

“I know Paul will continue to be a great representative for the people of Wisconsin through the rest of his term and we will continue to work every day with him to keep our promises to the American people,” he concluded.

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner also responded to the news of Ryan’s retirement.

“Paul Ryan has done an extraordinary job leading the House through turbulent waters at a time when the political discourse in America is changing. His budgets during my own speakership showed the American people our conservative vision for addressing the drivers of our debt and restoring a path to prosperity for our children,” Boehner said in a statement.

“And under his own speakership, his deep-seated belief in pro-growth tax reform has become a reality that is bringing jobs home to America. I admire Paul for his service, appreciate his friendship, and look forward to spending some time with him as a private citizen in the not-too-distant future.”

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