Paul Ryan and the Exodus of Republicans From Congress

A major shake-up in Washington yesterday, as House Speaker Paul Ryan said he’ll retire rather than run again in November. Ryan says he has done what he wanted to do in D.C. and that he is tired of being a “weekend” dad to his three teenagers who live with his wife in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Ryan joins a parade of legislators — most of them Republicans — who’ve said they have had enough, one way or another, and will give up their seats.

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson speaks with Libby Casey, on-air reporter who covers politics and accountability for the Washington Post, about that inflection point: Ryan’s retirement, the prospect for Republicans in November,and the potential opportunity for Democrats.

It’s not a total shocker that Paul Ryan is choosing not to run for reelection, or that he saw his days in Washington as being limited,” says Casey. “What was the surprise was that he was announcing it before the election…He now leaves the Republican party here in Washington — because, really, he’s a major leader here in that party — a bit rudderless as it prepares for a tough reelection battle in 2018.”

Casey notes that many of the Republicans choosing to leave Washington right now are more moderate on the political spectrum.

If we do see those more moderate members going to the exits, who fills their space?”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: Speaker Paul Ryan's Press Office

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Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.  

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