“There’s a whole lot of rumors and speculation that the speaker may step aside,” one GOP member told HuffPost this week, a sentiment that was expressed by a number of Republicans who, perhaps tellingly, wouldn’t go on the record to speak about Ryan’s future…

The speculation over Ryan’s next move has particularly intensified as Republicans negotiate spending deals with Democrats. Ryan has repeatedly pushed off the possibility that a legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program will be attached to a government spending agreement, but conservatives are worried Republicans could finish their tax bill, have the speaker announce his retirement and then watch Ryan do the same kind of “barn cleaning” that Boehner did at the end of his speakership.