Paul Ryan Reportedly Retiring After 2018 Midterms; Speaker Denies

According to a Politico report, House Speaker Paul Ryan is considering retiring after the 2018 midterms. In the report, Ryan has allegedly told his “closest confidants” that his current term as speaker will be his last:

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.

To validate its report, Politico interviewed "three dozen people who know the speaker—fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists" and "not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018."

The only thing missing, however, is a confirmation from Ryan himself, which however won't be forthcoming because moments after the Politico report, the Washington Examiner reported that Paul Ryan "laughed away speculation that he plans to quit his post after Congress passes tax reform and said next year's agenda will include legislation to transform the nation's welfare program into one that can move more people from dependency on government into the workforce."

"Next year is going to be the year where we work on people," Ryan told reporters who asked about his welfare reform plan at his weekly news conference. "Next year is the year we work on getting people where they need to get in life, in better jobs, an actual career, closing the skills gap."

 

Ryan has pledged to his largest faction of conservatives that the House would tackle entitlement reform in 2018 with a welfare-to-work proposal. Ryan is a longtime advocate of reforming the nation's welfare system to make it one that helps transition people away from dependency and into good paying jobs.

 

Ryan said the proposal would include career training as well as criminal justice reform, which has enjoyed wide bipartisan support in both chambers but has nonetheless stalled this year.

Politico conceded as much, and reported that Ryan "can't afford to admit he’s a lame-duck—his fundraising prowess and dealmaking leverage would be vastly diminished, making the House all the more difficult to govern." As such, "when asked at the end of a Thursday morning press conference if he was leaving soon, Ryan shot a quick “no” over his shoulder as he walked out of the room."

So is Ryan leaving or not? Following the duo of conflicting reports, there is absolutely no clarity either way, but at least a lot of excited people helped bring in a lot of breathless clicks for the source article.