What’s next for house speaker paul ryan – informnny

If Ryan emerges victorious, even those closest to him aren’t certain he’ll stay in Congress, particularly if Republicans lose their House majority. Asked whether Ryan would serve in the minority, the person who discussed his re-election plans with AP would not say.

Some Republicans speculate that Ryan’s work in Congress is complete now that he’s accomplished his career goal of ushering tax cuts into law. Even if Republicans keep control of the House, it’s doubtful he could achieve much more as speaker, a job he never wanted in the first place, especially with an unreliable partner in Trump. It’s even harder, they say, to envision him as minority leader.

"I can’t imagine him wanting to stick around too long," said Sykes, who pinned Ryan’s dilemma on a president who "undermines and distracts" from the GOP’s agenda. "This has been the story of the last two years – him trying to push this policy agenda amid the storm of distractions from the president."

Others expect Ryan still has sizable goals he’d like to accomplish, including downsizing the welfare system and other safety net programs, as he outlined in an impassioned monologue to reporters after the tax bill last year. And as much as Ryan fancies himself a policy wonk who prefers the realm of ideas, he’s actually become increasingly skilled at the art of politics.

Unlike his predecessor, Speaker John Boehner, who was forced into early retirement by the House’s rebellious right flank, Ryan has been able to persuade the conservative Freedom Caucus and others from open revolt. If he wants another term as speaker or leader, Ryan may well be able to secure the votes to win it.

And so the debate rolls on. After one report late last year suggesting Ryan’s 2018 campaign would be his last, Trump called the speaker to let him know he would be disappointed if that were true. The speaker assured the president he had no plans to leave, according to those familiar with the call.

Just this week, a Republican congressman, Mark Amodei of Nevada, mused openly to home-state reporters of "rumors" the speaker would not only retire from Congress, but that the No. 3 Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise of Lousiana, was on deck to replace him as speaker. It caused a mini-uproar nationally, and overwhelmed the Reno news site.

Ryan has allowed questions to linger in part because he keeps his inner circle of confidantes close and doesn’t always fully commit to staying on the job, which he reluctantly took in 2015 after Boehner retired. At the time, the next-in-line Republican, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, withdrew from the race when it appeared he did not have enough support.

It’s now a jump ball if McCarthy or Scalise would win the speaker’s job if Ryan were to step aside. Both are popular with House Republicans, but they also have limitations. McCarthy is not seen as conservative enough by some hard-liners and Scalise is still recovering from life-threatening wounds after being shot at congressional baseball practice last year. Neither is openly jockeying to take on Ryan.

Ryan has shown few obvious signs of a desire to quit, raising $44 million and visiting 30 states in 2017, much of the money for the House GOP’s campaign committee. The filing deadline in Wisconsin is in June. A Ryan political aide said that talking about the House GOP’s record and ensuring candidates have enough resources to run remain Ryan’s "top priorities."

"Am I going to be speaker? Yes, if we keep the majority, then the Republican speaker," he said in January on CBS’ Face the nation. "You’re asking me if I’m going to run for re-election? That’s a decision my wife and I always make each and every term when we have filing in Wisconsin late in spring. And I haven’t – I’m not going to share my thinking with you before I even talk to my wife."