It’s only April, but House Speaker Paul Ryan has had an eventful year. In early February, the Republican politician caught heat for an out-of-touch tweet about tax cuts. Less than two weeks later, in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Ryan again stirred controversy by arguing that the shooting shouldn’t affect the ability to purchase a gun. And today, April 11th, the congressman announced that he will not seek re-election this year, effectively entering into early retirement.
The 48-year-old congressman announced that he will continue to serve until January 2019. His congressional career has spanned 20 years total. In a press conference, Ryan acknowledged that he had taken on the position of Speaker “reluctantly”; he was given the role when former House Speaker John Boehner resigned in 2015. Nevertheless, Ryan said that he was satisfied with his time in Congress and that he was leaving to spend more time with his family.
Ryan’s retirement will mean that there is one more formerly Republican seat in the House of Representatives up for grabs, which could make it easier for Democrats to take back the House. And on top of this, some were surprised by the announcement because Ryan’s campaign fund has raised $11 million in 2018 alone. However, there have been rumors of Ryan leaving since December.
But many Twitter users weren’t sorry to see Ryan go.
Some saw Ryan’s early retirement as an act of cowardice.
Others noted that most people don’t get the same luxury.
But some — like Parkland student David Hogg — were looking on the bright side.
Regardless of your personal feelings about Ryan, the Speaker’s resignation is huge news. With so many elections in 2018, it’s more important than ever before to get out and vote. We’ll be watching to see who takes Ryan’s place come January.