Paul Ryan Retiring So He Won't Have to be a 'Weekend Dad' to Teenage Kids

Susan Jones | April 11, 2018 | 10:52am EDT
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House Speaker Paul Ryan announces his retirement. (Photo: Screen grab/C-SPAN)

( - Saying he doesn't want to be known as a "weekend dad," House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced that this, his 20th year in Congress, will be his last. He's retiring in January.

Ryan said the job of Speaker is a "big job with a lot riding on you, and you feel it."

And while the job is "fleeting," and he took it reluctantly, Ryan said he has given it "everything I have," and he has "no regrets whatsoever" for taking on the responsibility:

"This has been one of the two greatest honors of my life," Ryan said.  "The job provides incredible opportunities. But the truth is, it's easy for it to take over everything in your life. And you can't just let that happen. Because there are other things in life that can be fleeting as well -- namely, your time as a husband and a dad, which is the other great honor of my life.

"That's why today I am announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the House. To be clear, I am not resigning...but I will be retiring in January, leaving this majority in good hands with what I believe is a very bright future."

Ryan noted that his three children weren't even born when he was first elected to Congress:

"Our oldest was 13 years old when I became Speaker," he said. "Now all three of our kids are teenagers. And one thing I've learned about teenagers is, their idea of an ideal weekend is not necessarily to spend all of their time with their parents. What I realize is, if I am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad. I just can't let that happen," Ryan said.

"So I will be setting new priorities in my life. But I will also be leaving incredibly proud of what we've accomplished."

Ryan said he has "great confidence" in the Republican leadership team, which includes Reps. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Steve Scalise (La.) who are said to be vying for the Speaker's gavel, if Republicans can hold the House in November.

Ryan said the midterm election -- and the possibility that he might not retain the speakership after that -- did  not factor into his retirement decision "at all." Nor did President Trump's leadership style. "I'm grateful to the president for giving us this opportunity to do big things to get this country on the right track."

After Ryan’s announcement, President Trump tweeted: "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. We are with you Paul!"

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