Paul Ryan, second in line for US presidency, to not seek re-election
Ryan, 48, is the senior-most Republican on Capitol Hill and has been often seen as a stabilising presence in the turbulence brought to the party by Donald Trump.world Updated: Apr 12, 2018 01:31 IST
US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan, who is second in line for the presidency, on Wednesday announced he will not seek re-election, adding to speculation whether Republicans can retain control of the lower chamber after the mid-term congressional elections in November.
Ryan said he wanted to spend more time with his family. “I have accomplished much of what I came here to do, and my kids aren’t getting any younger,” he said at a news conference. “What I realised is if I serve for one more term my kids will only have known me as a weekend dad.”
He added: “I like to think I’ve done my part, my little part in history to set us on a better course.”
President Donald Trump said Ryan was a “truly good man”, adding that he will “leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question.”
Ryan, 48, is the senior-most Republican on Capitol Hill and has been often seen as a stabilising presence in the turbulence brought to the party by Trump. His retirement could trigger more such announcements, imperilling the party’s chances in the elections.
His departure will trigger a succession race — House majority leader Kevin McCarthy and majority whip Steve Scalise, the two senior-most Republicans in the party’s House caucus, are said to be the leading contenders for the post.
Ryan took over the speakership from John Boehner in October 2015, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was his first guest to address a joint session of Congress in June 2016.
Ryan, who once ran for vice president on a ticket with Mitt Romney, had shared an uneasy relationship with Trump. He was initially reluctant to fully accept him as the party’s presidential nominee and had dithered publicly, but after the election he was seen as having gone to the other extreme.