Another GOP Congressman Announces Sudden Retirement

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It is a dirty job, but someone had to do it. The responsibility fell upon Representative K. Michael Conaway’s (D-TX) shoulders. The 71-year-old has been cleaning up the messes that other Republicans stumble through. Yet, that was not the reason behind his new life-changing decision.

Conaway was the overseer of an audit on the National Republican Congressional Committee, which exposed an almost-million-dollar embezzlement scheme in 2007, according to The Washington Post. The CPA was rewarded with a seat on the House Ethics Committee and made it to the chair of that panel, apparently a job no one relishes.

Then in 2017, he was appointed to serve as the acting head of the House Intelligence Committee as it investigated the Russian cyber-attack on the 2016 presidential elections through today. He has been working with the ranking member John Warner (R-VA) in a rare bipartisan way.

Conaway served as the chair of the Agriculture Committee for four years, the latter two as its ranking Republican member. His GOP term limits were ending, though. Then, he called a news conference in Midland, Texas:

‘This is a perfect time as I transition. I told folks for a long time, “When I’m no longer in a leadership position, I’m coming home.”‘

The representative was the eighth Republican to announce that they intended to retire this year thus far. After all, those who were leaving has created a “bigger brain drain” than those who were staying with the newly reconstituted party.

With five Republicans jumping ship just this week. What has been going on to cause this mass migration away from the House?

Speculation led many to suspect that the retiring people have decided this Republican was not their GOP. As Donald Trump has blown through the norms and mores of the Republican party, its members in the House and the Senate have taken two very different paths.

The first group includes the retiring members such as Conaway. Apparently, they have been silent in order to survive. Then, that silence may have finally made it too difficult to continue. Others appeared to make an effort to hang on until the president is voted out of office.

The second group of Republicans has become more like members of a Trump party than the GOP. The president’s party has turned out to be a far different party. These Republicans have shown themselves to be strident, frighteningly loyal to the president, and willing to bend their ethics on his behalf.

Conaway spoke to the journalists in Midland about turning down a ninth primary:

‘I expect a spirited primary process.’

The representative has been one of the few Republicans to speak against the president. In mid-July Conaway came down hard on Trump for attacking the four freshmen congresswomen of color. The president told them to “go back” to where they came from, apparently referring to an imagined country of origin. However, all the women were U.S. citizens. One came from Somalia when she was 12-years-old with her family fleeing the war-torn country. The others were from Michigan, Minnesota, and Massachusetts.

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