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In farewell address, Speaker Paul Ryan touts successes but laments 'broken politics'


Republican leader revealed 'greatest unfinished business' in good-bye speech to the House

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) delivered his farewell address on Wednesday, in which he pointed to the successes of the lower chamber under his tenure while decrying the nation's "broken politics." The Republican leader also expressed what he believes is Congress' "greatest unfinished business."

What are the details?

Speaking at the Library of Congress, Ryan thanked his constituents, friends, staffers, colleagues, mentors, allies, and family for their support over what he called his "improbably journey" over 20 years as a U.S. representative for Wisconsin's 1st District.

Referring to his past three years as speaker, Ryan said, "We have kept our promises. This House is the most productive we have had in at least a generation."

Ryan listed tax reform, regulatory reform, rebuilding the military, and criminal justice reform as some of the great successes achieved under his leadership. But the speaker went on to voice his concern for the nature of today's rhetoric, saying that "the drivers of our broken politics are more obvious than the solutions."

However, he continued, "our problems are solvable if our politics will allow it," adding that he recognizes "so much more work remains to be done."

Ryan urged his colleagues to stay the course on welfare reforms and fixing the nation's immigration system, and said that as he departs Congress, he considers entitlement reform to be "our greatest unfinished business."

Anything else?

You can read Ryan's speech in its entirety here.

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