Following the House and Senate’s finally agreeing on a tax deal, Republicans are closer than ever to passing a tax cut that will radically alter the U.S. tax code. At the same time, the GOP has been losing prominent elections in what may very well be a preview of the 2018 midterms. With a legislative victory in hand, but looking at an uncertain future regarding its current control of the U.S. Congress, House Speaker and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is apparently leaning toward retiring from speaker duties and his House seat after 2018.
According to a new profile in Politico, Ryan is planning a push against programs like Social Security and Medicare since attacking the social safety net would no longer be a political landmine should he decide to retire. Those close to the Wisconsin Republican believe he plans to at least serve through election day next year, and ultimately retire before the next Congress is sworn in. This would accomplish two things: (1) allow Ryan, who is 48 years old, to spend more time with his teenage children, and (2) avoid having to share a ballot with President Donald Trump in 2020. However, with so many deals left to accomplish — which Ryan will have to reach across the aisle for votes for — and his need to fundraise for the party, he reportedly doesn’t want to be seen as a “lame-duck.”
Another reason for Ryan considering his future? Many pundits believe he might not win re-election in 2018. Either way, it looks like Capitol Hill is about to head into an exciting new year.