House Speaker Ryan touts farm, immigration bills

Sergio Conner
April 16, 2018

"If I am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad", Ryan said at the press conference, Rolling Stone reported.

Ryan's announcement was the latest upheaval in Washington in Trump's second year as president, after the resignations and firings of numerous White House officials and Cabinet members.

For politicians, getting elected to office feels like being upgraded from coach to first class for the first time.

"He has a history of winning his district quite easily, even in more hard years for Republican candidates but now with his retirement, it creates an open seat and open seats are always more competitive for the party that didn't hold it going into the election", Murray says. The decision comes ahead of the November 6 midterm elections that were already looking treacherous for Republicans, who risk losing control of the House, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Before Ryan made his announcement, two Democrats were looking to unseat him - including iron worker Randy Bryce who announced his candidacy last summer.

Meanwhile, some commentators have said that Ryan's decision to step down stemmed out of his desire to flee a sinking ship. Around the same time, 86% of Democrats said they approved of the ACA.

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King pressed for a more definitive answer, asking Ryan why he didn't more forcefully criticize or condemn Trump's actions.

Andrew Nicholson, chairman of the 10th Congressional District Republican Committee, said he doesn't think Ryan's departure will affect voter turnout or political activism in the district, which stretches from Frederick County to McLean. Ryan had to navigate the waters of a party that was not only fighting from within, but that was hijacked by a president whose erratic behavior has never been helpful. He did not discuss any particular reform details, but the speaker said he discussed Medicare reform with President Donald Trump and has pushed to partially privatize Medicare. And that's challenging. If you're a member of Congress right now, particularly in a swing or marginal district, and you go out there and you put some distance between yourself and the president, well guess what?

Ryan, a fiscal conservative who ran for vice president in 2012 on Mitt Romney's ticket, gave no hint of his future political ambitions. However, he seemed to be pretty confident his party will not be defeated in November.

"I have no reason to believe that that's going to happen", Mr Ryan said. Brendan Buck, counselor to the speaker, said Ryan would "run through the tape" by fundraising for other conservatives and passing legislation.

Ryan's decision sets up a fight for the Republican leadership in the House, with majority leader Kevin McCarthy and majority whip Steve Scalise seen as the top contenders for the speakership. "We need more minorities, more women in our party".

That's also true elsewhere, and Republicans fear losing their House majority. He thinks now that Ryan is out, the race for his seat may see a flurry of candidates who otherwise wouldn't have run. "Look, if we do our jobs, which we are, we're going to be fine as a majority".

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