House Speaker Paul Ryan is reportedly contemplating leaving Congress after the 2018 midterm elections -- and he wants to enact cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid on his way out the door.
Politico reports that Ryan, buoyed by his recent success in marshaling a massive tax cut through Congress, has his eyes on what the publication describes as his "second white whale": Entitlement reform.
While attempts to change Social Security and Medicare have almost always ended badly for Republican elected officials -- George W. Bush's push for Social Security privatization went nowhere and crippled his second term legislatively -- Politico reports that Ryan won't have to deal with any massive electoral blowback because he already has one foot out the door.
"Tinkering with the social safety net is a bold undertaking, particularly in an election year. But Ryan has good reason for throwing caution to the wind: His time in Congress is running short," the publication writes. "Despite several landmark legislative wins this year, and a better-than-expected relationship with President Donald Trump, Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker."