Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., has informed House Republicans that he plans to leave Congress at the end of his term, sources tell ABC News.
Ryan broke the news during a GOP Conference meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday, telling members that he would not seek re-election in November.
Ryan's departure is a blow for Republicans as they scramble to protect their Senate and House majorities in the midterms.
Ryan, who was drafted to serve as speaker after Rep. John Boehner's surprise resignation, led Republicans through an overhaul of the tax code this year, a longtime goal. He has been one of the party's most prolific fundraisers.
With Republicans bracing for heavy losses in the upcoming midterms, Ryan has faced lingering questions about his future and whether he would stay in Congress to lead a slimmer Republican majority or the minority.
He has said he would come to a decision with his family sometime in the spring ahead of the June filing deadline in Wisconsin.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., have quietly started preparing for leadership bids in the event of Ryan's departure.
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