Enraged By Leadership Failure, Some House Republicans Are Quitting
House Republicans' razor-thin majority has ensured that not only is there very little chance of the party uniting around a candidate for Speaker of the House that 217 Republicans could support, but that the very basic components of governing are essentially impossible.
In a piece for The New Republic, writer Matt Ford laid out how the political morass that has effectively shut down the House of Representatives — with seemingly no end in sight following Rep. Jim Jordan's (R-OH) for example, Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) posted a statement to X announcing that she would not be running for reelection in 2024.
"I want to spend more time with my husband, my 94-year-old mother, my three children, and my five grandchildren," Lesko wrote. "Spending, on average, three weeks out of every month away from my family, and traveling back and forth to Washington, D.C. almost every weekend is difficult."
"Right now, Washington, D.C. is broken; it is hard to get anything done," she added.
In addition to Lesko, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) also signaled that she was at her wit's end following the chaos and dysfunction that have defined the House of Representatives even prior to the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California).
"I've done many very difficult things being one woman standing many times with many very long hours and personal sacrifices, but there is a limitation to human capacity," Spartz stated on October 2, several days before McCarthy was kicked out of the speaker's chair. "If Congress does not pass a debt commission this year to move the needle on the crushing national debt and inflation, at least at the next debt ceiling increase at the end of 2024, I will not continue sacrificing my children for this circus with a complete absence of leadership, vision, and spine."
Aside from the leadership vacuum, members of Congress are also dealing with a staggering increase in violent threats. According to a 2022 report in the New York Times, US Capitol Police found that violent threats made to members increased by a factor of ten between 2016 and 2021, with more than 9,600 incidents reported. It's likely this year will also see an increase, as some of those violent threats have come in recent days, according to House Republicans who opposed Jordan's bid for speaker.
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
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