House Speaker Paul Ryan is not seeking re-election and will retire from Congress after this year, his office announced Wednesday.
“This morning Speaker Ryan shared with his colleagues that this will be his last year as a member of the House,” Ryan aide Brendan Buck said in a statement. “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.”
According to two sources with direct knowledge, in calls this morning with his leadership team, Ryan made clear much of this decision was about spending time with his family, but also noted that he planned to leave after this Congress and didn’t think it was fair to his district or the GOP conference to run for re-election only to leave right after.
The speaker met with members of his caucus on Wednesday morning. Rep. Darrell Issa of California told CNN that Ryan told members he promises to be more than a “Sunday dad” and he cited his family as part of his decision. At one point Wednesday morning, reporters outside the conference room could hear a long applause from inside the meeting.
Ryan, a Janesville native, has been in Congress since 1999 and became House speaker in 2015. Ryan reluctantly ran to replace then-Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who retired after sparring regularly with the most conservative members of his conference, including many members of the House Freedom Caucus.
Information from CNN was used in this report.