Paul Ryan

In Henry IV, Part 2, Shakespeare writes, "Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown."

Speakers of the House do not wear crowns. But if they did, these days their crowns might as well be woven of thorns.

Just ask Paul Ryan, who has announced he will relinquish the speakership by not seeking re-election this fall.

As House Republicans poured out of the closed-door meeting where Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told them he won't run for re-election this year, there was a constant theme: Things are on track. All is well. And a sitting speaker's decision to call it quits after less than three years in charge of the House chamber shouldn't be taken — at all — as a sign the GOP is facing an increasingly challenging election cycle.

"I go back to my district and people couldn't be more ecstatic about the things we're doing," Florida Rep. Brian Mast said. "I'm not concerned about it at all."

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election and will retire in January.

"You all know I did not seek this job," Ryan said, addressing reporters. "I took it reluctantly. ... I have no regrets."

Ryan, 48, cited wanting to be around his adolescent children more often.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is moving close to victory. After a frustrating year in which Republicans who control Congress failed to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress is moving closer to approving its first major legislation of 2017.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is getting more specific about what he sees as perhaps the best, if impractical, option for preventing an Alabama Senate seat from falling into the hands of GOP nominee Roy Moore or a Democrat. Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee has pulled its financial support from Moore's campaign.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Republicans finally got their health care bill.

After seven years of repeal-and-replace rhetoric against the Affordable Care Act, two presidential campaigns waged for and against it and a recent high-profile failure, House Republicans passed their bill.

The trouble is this bill is unlikely to ever become law — at least in its current iteration.

To legally justify its military actions against the Islamic State, the U.S. has relied on a piece of 2001 legislation, written years before the extremist group came into existence.

Now 46 representatives from both parties say in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan that it's time for Congress to "immediately begin a serious debate" on authorization for the use military force against the Islamic State.

As Republicans in Congress debate changes to the Affordable Care Act, insurance executives across the country are trying to make plans for next year.

Companies that sell policies on the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, face fast-approaching deadlines to inform states about what plans they want to sell, and what they intend to charge.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET

The House Freedom Caucus is resurgent.

The group of roughly 36 hard-line conservatives was at the leading edge of Republican opposition during the Obama years. It wasn't clear how relevant the caucus would be with a Republican in the White House.

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