Jan 17, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House GOP hit with another retirement announcement

Rep. Jeff Duncan. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election to Congress after more than a decade in office, marking the latest in a series of GOP retirement announcements this month.

Why it matters: The 118th Congress is seeing an unprecedented number of retirements and resignations, with lawmakers citing burnout, dysfunction and the long-term degradation of the institution.

Driving the news: Duncan, who was first elected to the House in 2010, said in a statement he "will not seek re-election" to his safely Republican district this November.

  • "After 9/11, I felt a calling to serve my State or Nation in some capacity. Serving in both the South Carolina State Legislature and the United States House of Representatives has been the culmination of that calling," he said.
  • "At some point in a career, one needs to step aside and allow others to bring fresh ideas and abilities into the fight for Liberty, just as I have."

By the numbers: Duncan's announcement marks half a dozen Republicans who have announced plans in January to leave the chamber – only one of whom, Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah), is running for higher office.

  • Several, such as Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), are longtime lawmakers and senior members of powerful committees.
  • Overall, 18 Republicans have announced plans to retire from the House, four of whom are running for higher office.
  • Nearly two dozen Democrats are also leaving, but half of them are running for higher office while others are being squeezed out by redistricting.

The intrigue: After House Republican hardliners hijacked a vote last week in protest of Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-La.) bipartisan spending deal, one Republican institutionalist predicted it would drive more retirements.

  • "There'll be more," Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) said of GOP retirements after the right-wing maneuver.
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