Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told confidants he will not seek re-election and will soon make an announcement on the matter, The Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed Wednesday.
The news comes as rumors that Ryan would retire in the coming months have continued to surface. Ryan, who has been speaker since 2015, told members close to him as well as his staffers that he would not seek re-election Wednesday morning.
“This morning Speaker Ryan shared with his colleagues that this will be his last year as a member of the House. He will serve out his full term, run through the tape, and then retire in January. After nearly twenty years in the House, the speaker is proud of all that has been accomplished and is ready to devote more of his time to being a husband and a father,” counselor to the speaker Brendan Buck said in a statement.
“While he did not seek the position, he told his colleagues that serving as speaker has been the professional honor of his life, and he thanked them for the trust they placed in him. He will discuss his decision at a press conference immediately following the member meeting,” Buck continued.
The question now is who will replace Ryan as speaker. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise announced his interest in Ryan’s job publicly in an interview in late March. (RELATED: Steve Scalise Announces Public Interest In ‘Moving Up’ In Leadership)
The Louisiana Republican said he would be very interested in “moving up” in leadership and mentioned that he believes he has a “strong influence” on legislation in Congress in an interview with Politico.
Scalise, however, made it clear that talk of Ryan’s retirement are “rumors.” Many of his allies also say he would only assume the position if his colleague Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy did not have the votes.
“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Scalise said in the interview. “Obviously, I’ve shown interest in the past at moving up. I’ve enjoyed being in leadership. I feel like I’ve had a strong influence on some of the things that we’ve done, and I’ve helped put together coalitions to pass a full repeal of Obamacare.”
Ryan has yet to publicly announce if he will seek re-election but has called reports of his potential retirement “rank speculation.”
The Wisconsin Republican will reportedly hold a press conference Wednesday at 10 am.
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