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Rep. Schweikert can’t argue with Speaker Ryan’s decision to retire

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, as the 115th Congress began. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)
LISTEN: David Schweikert, Arizona Congressman

PHOENIX — As a family man himself, U.S. Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona can sympathize with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision not to run for re-election. Ryan announced Wednesday he would retire after his term was up to spend more time with his wife and children.

“Paul and I have actually had this conversation multiple times. I’m in the room, holding my 2-year-old daughter when Paul is behind the microphone talking about how many baseball games, how many events and … he’s missing their lives,” Schweikert said Wednesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

“You’re holding your little girl, thinking about what he’s saying,” Schweikert, a Republican, said shortly after Ryan announced he would retire after his term ended in January.

But the decision will create a “cascade effect” within the membership, as members of Congress begin the process of finding a replacement.

“The fact of the matter is, there will be some folks with ambitions. And it’s more than just the fact that someone is running, or multiple people will be running for speaker” he said, but also “will other positions in the leadership change?”

He listed House whip and majority leader, for starters. Schweikert could be more than a bystander in some of the moving and shaking. Another spot that could need filling may be policy and steering committee chair, “which we are having a look at running for.”

Schweikert was a hopeful for the committee in late 2015. He credited Ryan with making a path to the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

“He treated me fairly. The previous speaker threw me off my committee. This speaker helped me find a way to knife-fight my way onto Ways and Means. He has cared about the math,” the self-proclaimed “policy geek” said.

Previous Speaker John Boehner pulled Schweikert off the House Financial Services Committee in 2012. He was able to return to the panel in 2014.

Ryan’s leaving is “…the way it’s supposed to be. If you support term limits, if you want to see fresh blood, this is the way it’s supposed to work,” Schweikert said.

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