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Paul Ryan. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

News outlets are starting to share rumors that Paul Ryan's seriously considering retirement from his House Speaker role after the 2018 midterms.

Mark Fuller of the Huffington Post reports that the buzz has reached members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, who believe Ryan'll be out after he gets tax reform done. And Politico's Tim Alberta and Rachael Bade say Ryan's talked with close aides about leaving after the 2018 midterms.

"[I]t’s not a job I ever wanted in the first place,' Ryan told Politico. “If I was dying to be speaker, I guess it probably would be a dagger over my head. But I don’t think like that.” But Ryan's press secretary, AshLee Strong, tells Axios, "This is pure speculation. As the speaker himself said today, he’s not going anywhere any time soon.”

Between the lines: Ryan's exit will likely remain speculation until he gets the tax bill [his "personal white whale," per Fuller] passed. If Ryan publicly lets on that he's a lame duck, "his fundraising capacity and dealmaking leverage would be vastly diminished, making the House all the more difficult to govern," Politco reports.

Trump called Paul Ryan after Politico story broke and asked him if he was leaving. Ryan told Trump he wasn't "going anywhere," per aide.— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) December 14, 2017

Go deeper

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Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.