House Speaker Paul Ryan is planning to retire following the 2018 midterm elections, according to a Dec. 14 report.
A lengthy article in Politico noted that discussions Ryan has held with close allies about his future have been shared among the top Republican leadership. It alleged that Ryan would like to serve through Election Day 2018 and step down before the new Congress convenes.
CNN also cited conversations with "friends" of the speaker that suggest he will leave Congress.
The Wisconsin Republican has played a major role in passing the GOP's tax reform legislation, which has been a major priority for him. Politico predicted that during his last year on the job, Ryan would seek to turn to another major concern of his: entitlement reform. This would include reducing spending on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.
Ryan was elected speaker in 2015 after his predecessor, John Boehner, stepped down. Boehner decided to retire after Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the right-wing Freedom Caucus, presented a motion to vacate the chair, a procedure that forces a vote on the speaker's future.
Ryan says he does not fear a similar fate.
"No, because it's not a job I ever wanted in the first place," Ryan told Politico. "If I was dying to be speaker, I guess it probably would be a dagger over my head. But I don't think like that."
Ryan has worked closely with President Donald Trump since he entered the White House. Politico reported that their collaboration on a number of issues has run smoothly even though Ryan criticized Trump when he was a presidential candidate in 2016.
Ryan decided to patch up his differences with Trump after the election, setting up a meeting with him to discuss his plans.
"I've just been sitting there watching the polls," Ryan told an election night party. "By some accounts, this could be a really good night for America. This could be a good night for us. Fingers crossed."
Views are mixed among Republicans about the prospect of Ryan's departure.
"Paul Ryan is by far and away the best possible person we have to lead this group of people in the right direction," Rep. Tom Rooney said. "I just think that any talk of him leaving, I hope that's not true. It would be a major setback for our cause."
But on the right of the GOP, frustration exists with Ryan's strong leadership style.
"He's more controlling than Boehner … and I voted against John Boehner and worked with Mark meadows to vacate the chair," stated Walter Jones. "I'm very dissatisfied. I've been here 22 years and this is the most closed shop I've ever seen."
However, the speculation about Ryan's future could be just that. The speaker dismissed the rumors Dec. 14.
"I ain't goin' anywhere," he said, according to CNN.
Sources: Politico, CNN / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Office of Speaker Paul D. Ryan via Wikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore/Flickr