Tags: gop | departures | reshape | house

Departures to Reshape House on GOP Side No Matter How Midterm Election Goes

Departures to Reshape House on GOP Side No Matter How Midterm Election Goes

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin administers the oath of office to Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill on Jan. 3. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)

By    |   Monday, 06 November 2017 10:07 AM

Departures will reshape the House of Representatives no matter what happens in the 2018 mid-term election as 27 Republican incumbents have left, announced they are retiring, or are planning to run for higher office, compared with just seven Democrats.

The New York Times reported some of the most outspoken and visible influential Republican personalities have said they would not seek re-election, including Texas Rep. Lamar Smith and Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling.

Smith served the past five years as chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He announced on Thursday he would not seek re-election, the Times said.

Hensarling, who chaired the House's Financial Services Committee, also recently announced that he would not run again next year, the Times said.

The list of departures includes former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who led the high-profile investigation on Benghazi as chair of the House Oversight Committee; longtime Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins; moderate Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a voice on Republican foreign policy; Diane Black of Tennessee, the first woman to lead the Budget Committee; and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, an Appropriations subcommittee chairman and the leader of House Republican moderates, the Times reported.

"For several reasons, this seems like a good time to pass on the privilege of representing the 21st District to someone else," Smith said in a statement, per CNN. "I have one new grandchild and a second arriving soon. And I hope to find other ways to stay involved in politics."

In the Miami Herald on Monday, Ros-Lehtinen took a swipe at President Donald Trump but added that the Republican Party will always have room for moderates.

"I am not concerned that our Republican Party will not have room for folks like me, like (U.S. Rep. Luis) Curbelo, like Jeb Bush, because I believe the Trump presidency is just going to be a blip," Ros-Lehtinen told the Herald.

"One of the best decisions I made was not endorsing Trump. Every day, I'm feeling so much better about it. Oh my gosh, I wake up with a smile on my face," Ros-Lehtinen said, per the Herald.

Chaffetz told the Times that while reasons for each lawmaker will differ, getting things done may be a central reason for the departures.

"Each of us will have our own individual stories, but the promise of unified government is much more difficult, cumbersome and elusive than we ever thought it would be," Chaffetz, who now works for Fox News, told the Times. "You have people who are frustrated they can’t get their legislation to the finish line."

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Departures will reshape the House of Representatives no matter what happens in the 2018 mid-term election as 27 Republican incumbents have left, announced they are retiring, or are planning to run for higher office, compared with just seven Democrats.
gop, departures, reshape, house
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2017-07-06
Monday, 06 November 2017 10:07 AM
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