Although Donald Trump did manage to make it to the White House, the GOP is falling apart. It’s not as though Trump himself seems to care much about this fact; he’s always cast himself as independent of partisan political concerns, and he’s proven this through his incessant attacks on Republicans since taking office.
With little apparent reason to stick around, yet another upper level House Republican has abruptly announced their retirement.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, of Texas, announced this past Tuesday afternoon that he would be declining to seek a ninth term in office, having served in his present position since 2003.
In an email to supporters of his reported upon by the Texas Tribune, Rep. Hensarling stated:
‘Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the US Congress in 2018. Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned.’
Hensarling’s retirement isn’t entirely a surprise; he’s facing a term limit-forced exit from his Chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee at the conclusion of this Congress. Besides that issue, Rep. Hensarling also cited a desire to spend more time with his family.
Hensarling has made his mark; earlier this year, the measure passed by the House rolling back a significant portion of the protections enacted by the Dodd-Frank regulations that was largely his handiwork.
Other prominent Republicans to announce their retirements in recent months include Reps. Jason Chaffetz, who is the now former chair of the House Oversight Committee, and Ohio’s Rep. Pat Tiberi. Pennsylvania’s Rep. Tim Murphy also announced recently that he would not be seeking re-election, making his announcement after it came to light that the staunchly pro-life lawmaker had an affair — and suggested to the woman he was romantically involved with that she get an abortion.
Over in the Senate, Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake, both of whom have sparred with the president in the past, recently announced their intent to not seek re-election.
Democrats are pushing hard to pick up as many seats as possible in the midterm elections to be held next year, but it’s not as though the present Republican majority in both houses of Congress has contributed to the passage of many significant pieces of legislation.
Although it didn’t go down in his house of Congress, Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act came close to using the Republican majority as a stepping stone to success, failing when a small number of GOP Senators defected. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell even skirted the rules to try and get the ACA-repeal passed, but to no avail.
Hensarling’s district isn’t likely to be picked up by Democrats in 2018, and there was talk of the incendiary former U.S. Rep. Allen West filling the seat come 2018. West moved to Texas after leaving office as a Florida Congressman some time ago.
When approached by the Texas Tribune, West shot down suggestions he would run for office.
Seemingly previously unaware of Hensarling’s retirement, West commented: “I didn’t move here to run for political office, but that’s some interesting news you just told me.”
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