Struggle to replace Paul Ryan could blow up US Congress budget deal

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan R-Wis. told Republican lawmakers Wednesday he will not run for re-election

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan R-Wis. told Republican lawmakers Wednesday he will not run for re-election. Associated Press J. Scott Applewhite

In House Speaker Paul Ryan's hometown of Janesville, residents are reacting to his surprise announcement.

"I am announcing today that this year will be my last one in the House", Mr Ryan said, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee and long-time legislator from Wisconsin.

Ryan has been in Washington for nearly two decades, and he is now "ready to devote more of his time to being a husband and a father".

Ryan's retirement will offer the party an opportunity to start fresh after the midterm elections and, if the worst happens, to focus on effectively organizing a minority opposition in the House to hopefully work in tandem with a Republican-controlled Senate. 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. There was a coinciding slide in the percentage of Americans who viewed Ryan favorably, to 39% in April 2017 from 48% in November 2016.

Who will replace him? Around the same time, 86% of Democrats said they approved of the ACA.

Ryan wasn't only spineless when it came to dealing with Trump.

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Ryan, who announced Wednesday that he would retire in January, pointed to Utah Republican Rep. Mia Love, who he has mentored, as one example of that recruitment.

Kelly said he wasn't concerned about Ryan's departure from a party perspective. Ryan insisted that he has "very good dialogue" with the president, that he's happy with the GOP's political accomplishments, and that his retirement from Capitol Hill has nothing to do with any "Trump fatigue". "Electorates far more conservative than Wisconsin's First have already elected Democrats in special elections in Wisconsin and across the country".

King tried to get Ryan to throw the president under the bus, asking him if "Trump fatigue" played a role in his decision to not run for reelection.

It will also fuel speculation that Ryan is eyeing a coming Democratic surge, fueled by opposition to President Donald Trump, that could wrest control of the House from Republicans' grip. "Some say this President really doesn't want to expand the base". "I have every confidence that I'll be handing this gavel onto the next Republican speaker of the House next year", he said in the press conference.

Ryan joins a parade of legislators - majority Republicans - who've said they have had enough, one way or another, and will give up their seats. 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? He thinks now that Ryan is out, the race for his seat may see a flurry of candidates who otherwise wouldn't have run.

Costello, Mast and most other Republicans stuck to their message in the hallways of Congress Wednesday morning, but speaking on background and away from cameras, many GOP lawmakers expressed concerns. "So we want to lay out a set of principles that any speaker has to follow", Virginia Representative Dave Brat, a Freedom Caucus member, said.

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