At the end of a particularly chaotic week, yet another Republican has announced he will not seek another term in the House of Representatives.
CNN congressional reporter Manu Raju reported Saturday that Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) will be leaving the House at the end of 2024 "with a heavy heart."
"[T]he framers intended citizens to serve in Congress for a season and return to their private lives. Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career and, trust me, Congress is no place to grow old," Gallagher stated. "And so, with a heavy heart, I have decided not to run for re-election."
Gallagher's announcement makes him the 14th House Republican to announce their retirement from public office in 2024 alone, according to Ballotpedia's count. Earlier this week, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington), who chairs the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced she would not seek a subsequent term despite her position. Seven other Republicans on that committee have previously announced they would not run for another term this year.
While his district is solidly Republican, Gallagher has broken from his party on several notable occasions, including this week, when he was one of three Republicans to join all Democrats in voting against the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed explaining his vote, Gallagher wrote that impeaching Mayorkas "not only would fail to resolve Mr. Biden’s border crisis but would also set a dangerous new precedent that would be used against future Republican administrations."
"Creating a new, lower standard for impeachment, one without any clear limiting principle, wouldn’t secure the border or hold Mr. Biden accountable," he argued. "It would only pry open the Pandora’s box of perpetual impeachment."
News of Gallagher's impending exit further endangers House Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-Louisiana) attempts to keep the gavel for another two years. The speaker already has a paper-thin majority and has yet to pass any significant policies since his election to the speakership in late 2023 aside from continuing resolutions avoiding government shutdowns. Tuesday's special election in new York's 3rd Congressional District could potentially give Democrats an additional seat, making it even harder for Johnson to pass conservative policies.