House Speaker Paul Ryan won't run for re-election in 2018

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced on Wednesday morning that he would not run for re-election in 2018, adding his name to a lengthy list of GOP lawmakers who have decided to leave the Congress, facing a mid-term election playing field which seems tilted in favor of the Democrats.

"I think we have achieved a heck of a lot," the Speaker said, telling reporters he had "no regrets" about his time in the post.

"I am announcing that this year will be my last," Ryan told reporters, after informing his fellow GOP lawmakers in a regular closed door meeting of House Republicans.

Ryan will leave after achieving one of his main policy goals, a major package of tax cuts, which was approved by the Congress and signed into law by the President at the end of 2017.

"Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question," President Donald Trump said in a tweet.

While Ryan's decision had been rumored for months, it still came as a surprise to many Republicans on Capitol Hill, and plunges House Republicans into yet another leadership fight - though there is no guarantee that the successor to Ryan will be the Speaker of the House after the November elections.

"Paul Ryan is a true public servant," said Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL).

"Paul Ryan's career in the House is one of integrity and accomplishments," said Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), as GOP lawmakers praised Ryan's time as Speaker, which began in late 2015 when Ryan replaced former House Speaker John Boehner.

"No Speaker of the House in history has achieved more in such a short time as Speaker Ryan," said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX).

"Ryan has led the House with dignity, and during his time as Speaker," said Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA).

Ryan said he considered running for re-election - and then resigning in 2019 - but he decided that wouldn't be the right move.

Several times in his remarks, the Speaker talked about his kids growing up, and the need for him to be at home back in Wisconsin - before his children go off to college.

"If I stay for one more term as Speaker, my kids will only have known me as a weekend dad," the Speaker said.

"I just can't let that happen," Ryan added.

Ryan wasn't the only Republican to make such announcement today, as Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) also said he would not run for another term in the House.

On the other side of the aisle in the House, Democrats had some slightly different reviews of Ryan's decision, and his time as Speaker.

While I respect his public service, many of the policies he fought to advance were deeply harmful to the American people," said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH). "Democrats can do better."

"Thanks for your service Mr. Speaker, but the American people never supported your far-right agenda to enrich the wealthy at the expense of everyone else," said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

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