Is Paul Ryan Really Leaving Congress?

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has been long considered a rising star in the Republican party — and a very likely contender for the GOP nomination once President Donald Trump leaves the White House.

The Wisconsin Congressman managed to successfully merge the fiscal conservative policies of the so-called moderate right with the social conservative mores of the religious wing of the party into a boyish, comely package — and his district is so rigidly gerrymandered he very well could serve in the House for the rest of his days.

So why are rumors suggesting that Ryan is leaving D.C.?

With the new tax reform bill just days from a final passage and a trip to President Trump’s desk for signature, Ryan already signaled the next battle: gutting Social Security and Medicare. But according to some on the Hill, that will be his swan song. As Politico reports:

Despite several landmark legislative wins this year, and a better-than-expected relationship with President Donald Trump, Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker. He consults a small crew of family, friends and staff for career advice, and is always cautious not to telegraph his political maneuvers. But the expectation of his impending departure has escaped the hushed confines of Ryan’s inner circle and permeated the upper-most echelons of the GOP. In recent interviews with three dozen people who know the speaker—fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists—not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018.

According to those close to the Congressman, Ryan wants to return home to his family as his children become teenagers. But a bigger cause well may be his fear of being painted as a part of the continuing leadership team as President Donald Trump runs for reelection, a legacy that could well kill off his own eventual presidential run down the road.

Also of concern to the Speaker? An embarrassing loss in the midterms.

As the recent win in Alabama proves, Republicans are extremely vulnerable in the 2018 elections — to the point where some are even concerned that the GOP could lose its House majority, regardless of the gerrymandered districts. Tea Party enthusiasts, drunk on the Trump win, are challenging sitting Republicans they view as too “moderate” and allowing more opportunities for Democrats to flip seats — just as Doug Jones did in the Senate earlier this month.

Ryan’s own race is a prime example, as the speaker appears decidedly vulnerable heading into 2018. According to his Democratic challenger, iron-worker Randy Bryce, the newly minted candidate is trailing Ryan by just six points, even though most Wisconsinites polled were unfamiliar with Bryce’s views.

Losing the House could be a career killer for Ryan, but losing his own seat may be even worse. No wonder he is contemplating an exit while the getting is good.

Of course, Ryan has denied the reports that he will not run for reelection in 2018. According to CNN, Ryan has even reassured the president that the media is wrong about his impending exit. However, even if Ryan is contemplating calling it quits, he would be unlikely to reveal his plans quite this early — especially considering his role as fundraiser and campaigner charged with keeping the House majority in Republican control come 2018.

The loss of Ryan would also throw the Wisconsin GOP into turmoil if the party can’t find a viable candidate to replace him on the ballot. Republican Paul Nehlen is running to replace Ryan, and he also attempted to nab the party nomination in 2016. A far-right extremist, Nehlen is an avid supporter of President Trump and Roy Moore. He also has ties to white supremacists and even told a reporter to “eat a bullet” during a Twitter debate on a gun bill.

Essentially, Ryan occupies an unenviable position: the choice to either stay and face defeat on a local and national level, or leave and accept the wrath of his party for abandoning them. Either way, he’s looking at an angry GOP and many years of rehabilitating his political career. Still, at just 48 years old, Ryan has plenty of time to accomplish that before he tries for his own presidential run.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons


Angela G
Angela G5 days ago


Karin H
Karin Hanson2 months ago

Another deplorable, lying, self-serving, maggot to join the Gross Old Pervert gaggle running for election in 2020!! Hopefully that will end of this Repug Nightmare.

Lesa D
Lesa D2 months ago

after the disgusting display of him fawning over trump & praising his tax plan after the Congress became complicit in the passing of it, i would hope he would stay to face the coming reckoning ~ there is a cost to sycophancy

Freya H
Freya H3 months ago

I hope that Ryan is in a lose-lose position. On the other hand, that could inspire him to be even nastier, to take as many and as much with him as he falls.

Julie D
Julie D3 months ago

I think Ryan will want to stick around to attempt to trash Social Security and Medicare. That has been his big wet dream for his entire adult life. He was so excited about his other wet dream, the hideous tax scam bill that he was like a giddy little school girl squirming in his seat uncontrollably and he actually laughed out loud with glee over being able to pull it off. Paul Ryan is an Ayn Rand disciple, a selfish, greedy sadistic, lying punk. He loves being able to hurt people, especially the poor, elderly, sick children, disabled, veterans. He lives for it. He is a very sick nasty bastard. He will no doubt want to be out of the limelight when Mr. Mueller's investigations conclude and sh@t hits the fan. He has now secured his personal fortune with the Tax scam bill, now if he can just destroy SS and Medicare he will be able to leave office a fulfilled and happy man. I would love to personally slap that snotty smirk he always has right off his face. We can't see the last of him too soon for me. I hope he is planning to leave.

Winn A
Winn A3 months ago

Doubt it

Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld3 months ago

Janet R.,
The DNC has more control over their nomination process, making it harder (but not impossible) for a non-Democrat to be nominated. The Republicans exercise less control over their nomination procedure. Hence a non-Republican won. The sad part is that someone who is not beholden to either of these regimes has little chance of being elected.

Brian F
Brian F3 months ago

Rhoberta E Defending the corruption in the Democratic party that caused this fraud Trump to win. If the Democrats supported slavery, you'd still defend them.

Brian F
Brian F3 months ago

Janet R Comparing WikiLeaks to Fox news? You're just mad because WikiLeaks exposed the truth about how Hillary is in the pockets of Wall Street, and how the corrupt Democrats cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, and caused this fraud Trump to win. If WikiLeaks exposed Trump as a liar, you'd be praising them. The Democrats have an unfair super delegate rule that gives the incumbent over 400 super delegates, and Tom Perez just fired all the honest progressives. So much for inclusion. Enjoy losing to this fraud Trump in 2020 again, because most of the Bernie Sanders supporters have left your corrupt party, and will vote for Jill Stein.

Debbi W
Debbi W3 months ago

I wish he would leave at the end of this year, but he claims he many more (destructive) plans to complete. He still needs to finish killing off senior citizens and young children on CHIP. He lies as much as trump while looking straight at the camera. He's really a cold hearted sob. I've heard comments about him running for president in 2024.