WASHINGTON – In a floor speech Thursday, soon-to-be-retired House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) thanked voters in Wisconsin’s First Congressional District for having given him the opportunity to represent them for two decades.
“I am immensely grateful to the people of southern Wisconsin for their trust and their confidence,” Ryan said.
He added: “I’ve always had this thing about calling the people I represent, not my constituents, but my employers.
Its the way I’ve always thought of this and I think its important that we as members understand that we work for the people and not the other way around.”
Ryan, 48, has served in Congress since 1999. He reluctantly assumed the speakership in Oct. 2015 following the resignation of Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio). In 2012, Ryan was the Republican nominee for Vice President.
Since taking the Speaker’s gavel Ryan has struggled to unite different factions of the Republican party. Ryan also has had to navigate a sometimes contentious and often complicated relationship with President Donald Trump.
In April Ryan announced that he would not seek re-election. He said his decision to retire was not motivated by political factors but by a desire to spend more time with his family.
Earlier this month 37-year-old Republican Bryan Steil was elected to represent the First Congressional District.
Democrats will take control of the House in January.