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Paul Ryan Backs Kevin McCarthy for Speaker

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Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty

House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Friday to succeed him.

Paul Ryan told NBC’s Chuck Todd, “We all think that Kevin is the right person.”

Ryan added, however, said that he does not believe that the House should hold a vote for the next speaker. The outgoing speaker contended that House Republicans should focus on maintaining a majority in Congress’s lower chamber.

Ryan suggested that anything apart from that “would be needless distraction.”

Speaker Ryan revealed in a press conference on Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the congressional term, saying that this “year will be my last as a member of the House.”

Reports suggested early Wednesday morning that the speaker expresses concern about the GOP losing the House in the 2018 midterm election and he does not want to serve as the minority leader.

Speaker Ryan said, “You realize when you take this job you realize that [you] only take this job for a small part of our history, so you better make the most of it. It’s fleeting. That inspires you to do big things.”

Speaker Ryan touted his legislative victories as leader of the House, namely tax cuts and increased funding for the military. Ryan argued:

I am really proud of what we have been able to do. We passed the first major reform of our tax code for the first time in 36 years, which has already been a huge success for our country. Second, is to rebuild our nation’s military. This will make our country more prosperous and more secure.

“I think we have achieved a heck of a lot,” Ryan added.

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