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Paul Ryan is going home, and history has its eyes on him

16 April 2018

When House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his retirement decision, he did so on his own terms.

In their failed effort to overhaul the Affordable Care Act in 2017 Republicans, led by Ryan in the House, set their sights on not just rolling back the health law's expansion of Medicaid but also turning it into a block grant program.

Over the course of the a year ago and change, Ryan's agenda has been set by the president's Twitter feed rather than the legislative calendar. And now, like more and more fellow Republicans in the House, he is abandoning ship.

Equally important might be who the party chooses as its new leader in the House.

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"It's not a total shocker that Paul Ryan is choosing not to run for reelection, or that he saw his days in Washington as being limited", says Casey. "We have accomplished so much at the state level and I look forward to ensuring Wisconsin continues down that path. Unemployment is at an all-time low, the tax burden is the lowest it has been in decades, and our schools remain strong".

"I think everybody will start jockeying for position immediately", said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus. All is well. And a sitting speaker's decision to call it quits after less than three years in charge of the House chamber shouldn't be taken - at all - as a sign the GOP is facing an increasingly challenging election cycle.

He was GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012. A leadership contest, most likely featuring Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, will soon ensue unless the latter decides to defer to the former's seniority.

Republicans were quick to say they would forcefully defend the seat, and prospective candidates are already scrambling to assess a possible run.

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McCarthy, the House majority leader, talked up the provocative spending cuts on Thursday.

"This is the nightmare scenario", said former Rep. Thomas Davis, a Virginia Republican. "It's just another issue that's floating out there, and obviously there's going to be some competition for his successor". "This is going to make every Republican donor believe the House can't be held".

On Friday, the state's Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced he would pass on the opportunity to campaign for Ryan's seat. David Craig. Longtime Ryan friend Bryan Steil, an attorney and University of Wisconsin Board of Regents member, could throw his hat into the ring.

Democrat Randy Bryce, a colorful ironworker who has cultivated an "IronStache" moniker, had been Ryan's best-known challenger, drawing liberal support from around the country. He had almost $2.3 million in the bank at the end of the first quarter. The only declared Republicans are Paul Nehlen, who was banned from Twitter earlier this year for posts criticized as racist or anti-Semitic, and Nick Polce, an Army veteran who also co-owns a security consulting firm.

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Ryan will no longer be making his speaker's salary of $223,500, but he will be eligible for a pension in a few years, and has an estimated net worth of slightly more than $6 million, according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of his 2016 financial filings.

Paul Ryan is going home, and history has its eyes on him