BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Sinclair Broadcast Group) — Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said rumors that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will step down in 2018 are not true.
In an interview with Bakersfield Now's Eyewitness News on Friday, McCarthy denied reports that Speaker Ryan was going to leave Congress after securing a victory on tax reform.
"That's the newspaper speculating," McCarthy said. "I think that's more palace intrigue."
Ryan has spent much of his time in Congress working to reform the tax code. Next week, both the House and Senate are expected to pass a massive tax overhaul and send it to President Donald Trump's desk. This has prompted numerous news outlets to report that Ryan is considering leaving Washington on a high note.
On Friday, Politico published a lengthy report on Ryan's possible retirement, suggesting that McCarthy and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) are "planning their next steps" and strategizing for a House Republican Caucus without Paul Ryan.
McCarthy rejected the idea that he was angling for Speaker Ryan's job. "Paul is not going anywhere," he repeated. "We work very closely together. We're a great team."
McCarthy further expressed his optimism about the Republican tax bill which will be brought to the floor of the House on Tuesday, December 19.
Paul Ryan has served in Congress since 1999. He was elected Speaker of the House in October 2015 after a rebellious GOP caucus voted out his predecessor, John Boehner.