Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Wednesday praised his counterpart in the House, following Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) announcement that he plans to retire this fall.
McConnell said that Ryan will leave behind a legacy of a “transformational conservative leader” and said he was “glad” that Ryan planned to stay in Congress until January.
“It’s been a sincere pleasure and a real inspiration to work alongside this humble servant and happy warrior,” McConnell said from the Senate floor. “I am glad we can count on his continued leadership through the rest of the year because our work together is far from finished. I look forward to collaborating closely these next months to implement more of the inclusive pro-growth, pro-opportunity agenda the American people are counting on us to keep advancing.”
During a press conference on Wednesday morning, Ryan confirmed reports that he wouldn’t seek reelection after nearly 20 years serving in the House. After less than three years as Speaker, Ryan said he knew the position was not going to be permanent when he begrudgingly took on the leadership role in October 2015 and said he wanted to spend more time at home in Wisconsin so his children don’t spend their entire childhood with a “weekend dad.”
Rumors have been circulating for months suggesting Ryan was planning to resign or, at least, retire when his term is up, but his office has, up until Wednesday, continuously denied those reports.