House Speaker Paul Ryan privately reassured rank-and-file Republicans on Tuesday that he does not plan to leave office, disputing a report from last week that said he would quit Congress at the end of next year.
"I am not going anywhere anytime soon and let's just leave it at that," Ryan, R-Wis., said when asked if he planned to run for another term in 2018.
Ryan made the promise to lawmakers in a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning in the Capitol, he confirmed.
"I actually think that piece was irresponsible, it was speculative piece and it was only speculation and I wanted to put that to rest," Ryan said.
The report cited unnamed members of Ryan's inner circle who claimed he would not stick around after the mid-term elections, which traditionally cost the party in power many seats. Some analysts are projecting Democrats will retake the House.
Last week, Ryan laughed off the idea that he was planning to leave as soon as Congress passed a bill lowering tax rates. He said Republicans next year would take up welfare reform.
"Next year is going to be the year where we work on people," Ryan told reporters who asked about his welfare reform plan at his weekly news conference. "Next year is the year we work on getting people where they need to get in life, in better jobs, an actual career, closing the skills gap."