The Republican Retirement Parade Is Getting Absurd

Another one bites the dust.

empty seats

The returning members of the House Republican caucus.r. nial bradshaw/Flickr

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Another Republican politician is packing up his bags and heading home. On Monday, New Jersey GOP Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced that he would retire in January, bring the total number of House Republicans who have resigned or intend to retire up to 23. (Another 11 Republicans are vacating their seats to run for either governor or Senate.) Frelinghuysen, the scion of one of America’s oldest (and least well-known) political dynasties, represents a Republican-leaning North Jersey seat that President Donald Trump won by less than one percentage point in 2016, and was a top Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee target going into this fall even before he stepped aside.

Some of those seats, such as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s Miami-Dade district and Rep. Darrell Issa’s in Southern California, are top Democratic targets, but many—particularly in deep-red parts of Texas—are generally considered safe for Republicans. Every member has their own considerations, but the through-line is that Republicans in positions of power have concluded that in the next two years, their jobs are only going to get worse. Frelinghuysen is one of eight committee chairs who is leaving.

Although he has held his seat since 1995, Frelinghuysen appeared to have been caught off guard by the grassroots progressive opposition to Trump in his district. He was out-raised by two Democratic challengers in the third quarter of last year, and when he received an angry letter from a constituent last spring complaining about his inaccessibility, Frelinghuysen sent the letter to a board member of the bank where she worked. (The constituent left her job at the bank.) Around the same time, he told constituents during a tele-townhall “it would be nice for you to back off.”

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate