House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) confirmed Wednesday that he will not run for re-election this year, and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has some advice for the departing congressman.
"With his newfound political freedom, I hope the speaker uses his remaining time in Congress to break free from the hard-right factions of his caucus that have kept Congress from getting real things done," said Schumer in a statement. Schumer said that, while other top Republicans jockeying for Ryan's spot will make the end of his term complicated, he's confident Ryan is "up to the job."
Ryan, who has been House speaker since 2015, doesn't have a clear successor poised to take his spot. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) are reportedly angling for the job, but nobody has officially thrown their hat into the ring.
Schumer was frequently at odds with Ryan, often trading barbs over everything from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program to the handling of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and his infamous memo regarding Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. Schumer and Ryan also blamed each other for the government shutdown in January.
Meanwhile, Ryan's Democratic counterpart in the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), has yet to address the retirement news. Still, her last tweet happens to mention Ryan anyway: "[Speaker Ryan] and [the GOP] seem to have forgotten that Americans will not stand for their attacks on #Medicare & #SocialSecurity," she wrote.