Republicans Face Dire Warning: House Members Flee in Droves, Experts Caution

( – Right now, most Republicans are focusing on November’s elections. However, political experts are warning that whatever voters do, the GOP is facing a serious problem. Too many of its veteran legislators are retiring, and without their experience, the party could struggle to achieve its goals in congressional committees.

Republicans Are Retiring From Congress

When we think about the House of Representatives, we mainly focus on the often dramatic votes that advance or reject proposed new laws. The reality is that much of the House’s real work is done in committees. These play a huge role in shaping legislation and influencing the votes of members, and committee chairs can be remarkably powerful. With the GOP now holding a majority in the House, that puts Republicans in some of the chamber’s most influential positions. However, there’s a problem. A lot of those top GOP legislators are planning to step down and won’t be running for re-election in November.

So far, with over eight months to go until the election, no less than 21 Republican representatives have already said they’ll be leaving the House at the end of this congress. They include Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), the chairwoman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, and potentially Mark Green (R-TN), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Three other GOP committee chairs –- Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, and Strategic Competition with the Chinese Communist Party –- are also stepping down.

Law and politics professor Josh Chafetz of Georgetown University recently told journalists, “It’s not a great sign for a party when that many committee chairs and other folks in leadership positions are retiring.” He warned that this suggests many leading Republicans expect the party to lose control of the House and added that it’s “never great” to lose experienced legislators. Even if the GOP holds onto the seats vacated by retiring members, the new representatives won’t have the experience and seniority of those they’re replacing.

How Much Does It Matter?

Some experts think the loss of experienced committee chairs isn’t as serious as it once would have been, as power in the House has become more centralized in the parties’ congressional leadership, but congressional analyst Kevin Kosar called the departing members “canaries in the coal mine” and said it was “particularly distressing” to the GOP to be losing so many veteran legislators. Republican strategist William F Buckley O’Reilly backed that up, saying that being a legislator is currently “one of the worst jobs in America” and that when they realize how stalemated Congress is, “they want out of there.” That’s something the House Republican leadership needs to fix before November.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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