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"He's leaving at the height of his power:" Wisconsin delegation continues to react to news of Paul Ryan's retirement

WASHINGTON D.C. (CBS 58) -- Paul Ryan held another news conference on Thursday and a reporter asked about a small group of house republicans who think it might be better for the party if the speaker retires now instead of at the end of his term.

"I've said all along my plan is to stay here and run through the tape. You said a small group. I've talked to a lot of members, a lot of members think it's in all of our best interests for this leadership team to stay in place and to run through the tape.

Ryan's retirement announcement is still sending shock waves around the nation's Capital especially inside the Wisconsin delegation.

CBS 58 News Brendan Cullerton was in Washington D.C. and asked congressmen from Wisconsin what Speaker Ryan has meant for Wisconsin and what it means that he's leaving.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress don't agree on Speaker Paul Ryan's retirement announcement.

"Everyone's assuming it's going to be a tough environment in November for Republicans. I guess it wasn't a great surprise," said Rep. Mark Pocan (D) Wisconsin.

"I was a little surprised to hear that the speaker was going to leave. He's leaving at the height of his power," said Rep. Sean Duffy (R) Wisconsin.


They do agree having him as speaker meant a lot to the state.

"People can use their influence more or less for help in the state but no matter what it brings that you don't just have to have people from California and New York and the coasts in leadership," Rep. Pocan said.

Congressman Sean Duffy says Ryan was a big factor in bringing Foxconn to Wisconsin and bringing the President's attention to dairy.

"Things that can often time be forgotten in a state like Wisconsin. They're remembered because of people in high places that Paul Ryan brought to the forefront," Duffy said.

He says now it's up to the collective Wisconsin delegation to pick up the slack.

"We were punching above our weight with Reince Priebus, with the President, and Paul Ryan with the speakership. We go back to what we've always been, a group of members of Congress and Senators fighting together for our state."

Ryan hasn't said much about what he will do next besides spend time with family but he says he doesn't anticipate returning to politics. 


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