Paul Ryan could be leaving Congress by the end of 2018—if not much sooner. Politico spoke to three dozen people close to Ryan, and none of them believed the speaker of the House would still be in Congress after 2018. On the verge of passing tax reform—one of his major goals since entering Congress in 1999—sources say Ryan wants to use 2018 to tackle his other, more politically risky goal: reforms to Social Security, Medicare, and the rest of the social safety net. They say Ryan would serve through 2018, then retire before the next Congress is seated. Sources say Ryan doesn't want to campaign alongside Trump in 2020, "feels like he's running a daycare," and wants to spend time with his actual children instead. Close friends tell CNN Ryan is suffering from "Trump-haustion."
But it's no guarantee Ryan will even last that long. The next few weeks in Congress—with success needed on tax reform, government funding, and more—could sink the speaker. He's reportedly told some close to him that his current strategy is short term: “Win the day. Win the next day. And then win the week." During his weekly press conference Thursday, Ryan denied that he's quitting Congress "soon," the Hill reports. "I ain't goin' anywhere," he told reporters when asked about the rumors. A spokesperson later added that reports to the contrary are "pure speculation."