Republican leaders are pushing Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to relinquish his House Speaker position early out of fears that his potential successors will spend months "backstabbing" each other in an effort to move up the GOP food chain.
According to Axios, Ryan's surprise announcement on Wednesday that he will not run for re-election, already has Republicans in the House maneuvering to replace him by lining up allies and calling Ryan a "lame duck."
"Scuttlebutt is that Paul will have to step down from speakership soon," A GOP insider told Axios. "Members won’t follow a lame duck, he’ll have no leverage to cut deals, and the last thing they need in this environment is 6 months of palace intrigue and everyone stabbing everyone else in the back."
According to the report, a ranking GOP House member said Ryan will step down and "be gone by the end of July.”
The report, which lists House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) or House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) as Ryan's potential replacement, said Republicans in the House fear an all-out internal war could hurt them as they face the 2018 midterms where they are already looking at an uphill battle to maintain their majority.
According to the report, a battle may already be brewing between the mainstream Republicans and the hard-right Freedom Caucus which has been a thorn in Ryan's side.