Tags: 2020 Elections | john shimkus | house | energy | committee | chairman | gop

Shimkus May Not Retire With Committee Slot Opening

john shimkus sits and looks to his left with a slight grin during a house hearing
Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill. (Bill Clark/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 29 October 2019 07:20 PM

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., said Tuesday he is reconsidering his retirement plans now that Rep. Greg Walden is retiring and leaving the top GOP spot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee up for grabs. 

"It's true, I am at least reconsidering," Shimkus told reporters, adding that his fellow lawmakers and people back in his district have asked him to stay, reports Politico

With Walden, R-Ore., announcing his retirement Monday, that will leave the committee spot open. Shimkus, a close ally and roommate of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., lost the spot to Walden in 2016.

"Who would not say 'no, I don't want to go'" for it, Shimkus said Tuesday, comparing the opportunity to being like a baseball player in the minor leagues getting a shot at the majors. 

Shimkus is currently the most senior Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee behind Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. However, Upton is term-limited from seeking the top spot on the committee.

However, Shimkus has competition from other Republicans on the committee for the key seat, as Reps. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Bob Latta, R-Ohio, and Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., also all expressed interest. 

Shimkus, who was first elected in 1997, would be an immediate frontrunner, considering his ties to House leadership and his seniority status.

He also said he might have a hard time getting on the ballot by the December deadline, as he has to get a petition signed.

"I have no petition, no circulators," he said. "I've closed my campaign office."

Already, 19 House Republicans have said they are retiring during this cycle, making it even more difficult for their party to take back the House from the Democrats. 

Meanwhile, Shimkus last month backed away from supporting Trump's 2020 campaign after the president's decision to pull troops from northern Syria, but Tuesday, he said he still strongly supports Trump's domestic agenda.

"I've always struggled with the president’s isolationist bent," he said. "I have a policy difference — one or two — but judges, life, tax relief, regulatory burden. I mean, it's an easy choice against a socialist."

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Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., is reconsidering his retirement plans now that Rep. Greg Walden is retiring and leaving the top GOP spot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee up for grabs.
john shimkus, house, energy, committee, chairman, gop, republican
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2019-20-29
Tuesday, 29 October 2019 07:20 PM
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