WASHINGTON — Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan will not run for reelection, his office announces, injecting another layer of uncertainty as Republicans face worries over losing their majority in the fall.
Ryan’s plans have been the source of much speculation and will set off a scramble among his lieutenants to take the helm. A self-styled budget guru, Ryan had made tax cuts a centerpiece of his legislative agenda, and a personal cause, and Congress delivered on that late last year.
Ryan, 48, announces his plans at a closed-door meeting of House Republicans Wednesday morning, according to those present. His tone is somber, and he reads directly from prepared remarks.
“After nearly 20 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,” Ryan adviser Brendan Buck says 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.”
Ryan will serve out his term and retire in January, Buck says.