tv House Speaker Paul Ryan Announces Retirement CSPAN April 15, 2018 7:48pm-8:01pm EDT
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speaker ryan: good morning. i wanted to share with you a little of what i just told my colleagues a few minutes ago. you realize something when you take this job. it's a big job with a lot riding on you and you feel it but you know this is a job that does not last forever. you realize that you hold the office for just a small part of our history so you better make the most of it. it's fleeting. and that inspires you to do big things. and on that score i think we have achieved a heck of a lot. you all know i did not seek this job. i took it reluctantly but i had given this job everything i have. and i have no regrets whatsoever for having accepted this responsibility. this has been one of the two greatest honors of my life. the job provides incredible opportunities.
the truth is, it's easy for it to take over everything in your life and you can't just let that happen because there are other things in life that can be fitting as well. namely, your time as a husband and a dad which is the other great honor of my life. that's why today i am announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the house. to be clear, i am not resigning. i intend to serve my full term as i was elected to do, but i will be retiring in january, leaving this majority in good hands with what i believe is a very bright future. it's almost hard to believe but i have been a member of congress for almost two decades. this is my 20th year in congress. my kids weren't even born when i was first elected. our oldest was 13 years old when i became speaker. now all three of our kids are teenagers. one thing i've learned about
teenagers is their idea of an ideal weekend is not necessarily to spend all of their time with their parents. what i realize is, if i am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad. i just can't let that happen. so i will be setting new priorities in my life but i will also be leaving incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. some of you know my story. my dad died when i was 16. the age my daughter is. and i just don't want to be one of those people looking back in my life thinking i spent more time kids when i know if i spend another term, they will only know me as a weekend father. so i'm really proud of what we've been able to do. when i took this job, one of my conditions was that we aim high, that we do big things, that we fashion an agenda, that we run on that agenda, that we win an
election and we execute that agenda. i am so proud that is exactly what we have done and what we are doing right now. we've accomplished so much since then. probably the two biggest achievements for me are, first, the major reform of our tax code for the first time in 36 years which has already been a huge success for this country. that's something i have been working on my entire adult life. second, something i got much, much more invested on since becoming speaker is rebuild our nation's military. after tax reform, addressing our military readiness crisis, that was a top priority that we got done last month as well. see our are -- i lasting victories that will make this country more prosperous and secure for decades to come. there are so many other things we have gotten done.
of course, i am going to look back proudly on my days on the budget committee and ways and means committee. i don't want to be too sentimental here. i want to be clear, i am not done yet. i intend to run for the tape, finish the year. some of you wonder why i can't just do the normal politician thing and which is run and retire after the election. that is what i'm told the politically shrewd thing to do. i considered that but just as my conscience is what got me to take this job in the first place, my conscience could not handle going out that way. i pledge to serve the people of wisconsin, the first district, honorably. in order to serve the people in my district honorably i have to serve them honestly. for me to ask them to vote to re-elect me knowing that i wasn't going to stay is not being honest. so i simply cannot do that. so that's why i'm announcing this today. again, i am proud of what this congress has achieved and i believe its future is bright. the economy is strong. we have given americans greater confidence in their lives and i will be confident i will be handing the gavel to the next republican speaker of the house next year.
just to close, i said earlier i said i didn't want this job at first. most of you know. i actually didn't. but i have to thank my colleagues for giving me this opportunity and this honor. i am really grateful for it. i just want to thank the people of southern wisconsin for placing their trust in me as their representative for the past 20 years. i tried to bring as much wisconsin to washington as i can in that time. it's been a wild ride. but it's been a journey well worth taking, to be able to do my part to strengthen the american idea. that pursuit is never ending. much work remains. i think i have done my part, my little part in history to set us on a better course. thank you. reporter: will you remain as speaker? speaker ryan: yes. reporter: you have no plans to call early leadership elections? speaker ryan: correct. look, i know most speakers don't go out on their own terms. tip o'neill was the last one that did that. harry reid said he would not run
again and stayed on as senate leader. yes, that's what i'm going to do. reporter: mr. speaker, you got your long sought tax cuts and tax reform legislation approved. would you say you'll consider it to be your greatest achievement. you are not sticking around for the biggest consequence which is a trillion dollar deficit. what do you say? speaker ryan: entitlement reform is the other great thing. the house passed the biggest entitlement reform ever considered in the house of representatives. do i regret the fact the senate did not pass this? yes. but i feel from all the budgets i passed, normalizing entitlement reform, pushing the cause of entitlement reform and the house passing entitlement reform, i am very proud of that fact. of course, more work needs to be done and that's entitlements. that's where the work needs to be done and i will keep fighting for this. reporter: mr. speaker, the chance you might become speaker
come november if the democrats take the house factor at all? speaker ryan: none whatsoever actually. i didn't take this job to get the gavel in the first place. i am not a guy that thinks about that. this is really two things. i have accomplished much of what i came here to do, and my kids aren't getting any younger. if i stay they're only going to know me as a weekend dad and that's something i can't do and that's it right there. reporter: mr. speaker, do you worry about the impact of your announcement on the 2018 mid terms and sending a signal that perhaps the house is lost? speaker ryan: i really do not believe whether i stay or go in 2019 is going to affect a person's individual race for congress. i really don't think a person's race for congress is going to hinge on whether paul ryan is speaker or not. i don't think it effects it. if we do our job we will be fine as majority. i'm grateful for the president to actually give as you chance
to get this stuff done. i am grateful we have unified government that the president with his victory gave us. we will have great record to run on. we have great economy, great accomplishments, more to do. and i really don't think the american people are going to want to have the gridlock that the democrats are promising. so i'm confident we can run to the tape and get this done. reporter: on the president, he's been openly talking about firing bob mueller, potentially firing the deputy attorney general. what are your thoughts on that? speaker ryan: my thoughts haven't changed. i think they should be allowed to do their jobs. we have a rule of law and that's the principle we uphold. i have no reason that's going to happen. i have assurance that's not going to happen. i have been talking to people in the white house. rachel. reporter: [inaudible] speaker ryan: i have great confidence in this leadership team. that's one thing i am really proud of. obviously i came with a big goal
in leadership when i came here. i think we have a fantastic leadership team. i have more thoughts on this. i think this is probably not the right time to get into this. i will share those thoughts later. that election is in november so it's not something we can talk right now. reporter: to what extent your decision was the way president trump changed the character of washington and the character of the republican party? speaker ryan: not at all. i am grateful for the president to give us the opportunity to do big things to get this country right on track. for the fact that he gave us the ability makes us proud of the accomplishments i have been a contributor to and made a big difference and he's given us that chance. i am grateful for that. that's how i see it. thank you very much, everybody. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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