Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will be stepping down after the 2018 midterm elections. According to the New York Times, Ryan will not be seeking re-election in November.
According to a December 2017 report by Politico, Ryan told his “closest confidants” that his current term as Speaker of the House will be his last, and that “in recent interviews with three dozen people who know the speaker—fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists—not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018.”
That said, The Hill noted that such speculations have been flying for months, and that Ryan has denied them all.
Ryan and his wife, Janna, have three children together. Ryan’s mom, Elizabeth “Betty” Douglas, has been credited with helping her son choose a career in politics. His dad, Paul Murray Ryan, passed away in 1986.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. His Wife Janna Was a Lobbyist & a Tax Attorney
Paul Ryan’s wife is the former Janna Little. She has a law degree from George Washington University. After graduation, but before meeting and marrying her current husband, she worked as a tax attorney, and later as a lobbyist for PriceWaterhouseCooper and Williams & Johnson.
These days, Janna is a stay-at-home mom. She met Paul (who is a year younger than she is) at her 30th birthday party. The couple married the following year.
When her mother died in 2010, Janna inherited a trust fund worth somewhere between $1 million and $5 million. As the Los Angeles Times reported in 2012, that trust fund comprises the bulk of the Ryan family’s assets, which that year were reported to be in the range of $2 million to $7.7 million.
Currently, Ryan’s net worth is estimated at $7.8 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth.
2. He Has 2 Sons & a Daughter
Paul and Janna Ryan have three children together. Their daughter, Liza, is 16, son Charles is 15, and their son, Samuel, is 13. The family has a home in Wisconsin, where Ryan travels to spend time with them on the weekends.
Samuel is particularly close to his dad and some might say that he has a future in politics. Samuel joined Ryan on the campaign trail and in June 2016, he even sat in on a national security event.
In May 2016, Breitbart reported that Ryan’s three kids attend a Catholic school attached to the parish where Ryan himself once served as altar boy.
3. His Mom, Betty, Lives in Florida & He Has Called Her His ‘Hero’
During the 2012 Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, Betty was out on the road giving stump speeches. However, she has been a supporter of her son’s chosen career path since he was young.
“Douglas’ role in her son’s political career goes back to his first run for Congress when he was just in his 20s. She used to drive him around his Wisconsin district during that first campaign, and she helped schedule his appointments and public appearances,” Yahoo! News reports.
Betty lives in a small coastal town in Florida for at least part of the year.
“She is a very nice woman, nice family woman. Very bright, very alert,” her neighbor Rosina Ventre told the Tampa Bay Times in 2012.
4. His Dad, Paul, Died When He Was a Teenager
Paul Murray Ryan, Paul Ryan’s dad, passed away in 1986. It was Paul Ryan who received a call from his dad’s assistant when he didn’t show up for work one morning and had “clients waiting for him at the office.” The then 15-year-old Ryan went home and looked around the house, finding his dad in his parents’ bedroom.
“It was obvious I wouldn’t be able to save him. His heart had stopped and he was gone,” Ryan wrote in his book, The Way Forward: Renewing the America Idea.
Following his dad’s death, Paul Ryan decided that he was going to buckle down and make his dad proud.
“I mean, after his father died, he told me he made a conscious decision that he was going to take school more seriously. He became more of a social animal,” journalist Ryan Lizza told NPR’s Terry Gross in a 2012 interview.
The senior Ryan worked as an attorney. He struggled with alcohol for much of his life.
“While he certainly tried to fight it, my dad’s addiction eventually won out. Over time, it made him more distant, irritable and stressed. Before I lost him to a heart attack, whiskey had washed away some of the best parts of the man I knew … I grew up real fast,” Paul Ryan told the Associated Press in 2014.
5. He Says Americans Need to Have More Kids
On Dec. 14, the same day rumors broke that Ryan might step down after the 2018 midterms, Talking Points Memo reported that Ryan said Americans need to boost their birth rates. “People,” Ryan said. “This is going to be the new economic challenge for America. People. Baby boomers are retiring. I did my part, but, you know, we need to have higher birth rates in this country, meaning, baby boomers are retiring and we have fewer people following them in the work force.”
Though he wants Americans to have larger families, Ryan opposes paid family leave policies.
Immigration is another way a country’s population can rise, and Ryan to his credit does claim to support “fix[ing] the legal immigration system.” In the past, Ryan has said he wants to make abortion illegal in all circumstances, including for rape victims. However, it’s possible his stance has softened since then; in 2012, when Ryan was the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate alongside presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the Romney campaign distanced itself from them-Representative Todd Akin’s claim that rape rarely results in pregnancy because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” At the time, Romney said “Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong.”