"I fully anticipate handing the gavel over to the next speaker of the House after this term and I think Kevin is the right guy to step up", Ryan stated. By all, Ryan said he was referring to his leadership team. "I think we'll have a seamless transition". Ryan celebrated his accomplishments, mainly the recent tax reform bill signed, and lamented he was never able to achieve entitlement reform.
Representative Jim Jordan, a co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, whose members have at times clashed with Ryan and other Republican leaders, said he is also open to pursuing the role of speaker.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has endorsed his top lieutenant, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, to be his successor, giving a significant boost to the Californian's candidacy in hopes of averting a divisive contest that could make an already hard election year even tougher for divided Republicans.
A big factor in McCarthy's favor is his close personal relationship with President Trump.
Ultimately, Ryan's endorsement is symbolic, but it also carries a lot of weight among rank-and-file House Republicans. "Second, if we elect a Democratic majority to the House, the Speaker will be a Democrat. We are with you Paul!" And so we have made a difference in this country. Pelosi is seeking to take back the Speakership in November, and many Democrats celebrated Ryan's retirement hoping he is just the first Republican casualty of the so-called "blue wave" to come.More news: Court bans Telegram messaging app in Russian Federation
Another name circulating as a possible Ryan replacement was House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who was wounded by a gunman a year ago.
The Freedom Caucus is looking to flex its muscle again in the leadership race this year, and may seek to extract promises from McCarthy in exchange for their support.
To become the next speaker, McCarthy must win the majority of votes in the chamber, where Republicans now have a majority.
Keven McCarthy in his Washington D.C. office in 2012, when the U.S. Government was being closed down as a tactic by the Republicans during the Obama presidency.