More Republicans Are Walking Away From Congress

Next year will be much more difficult for House Republicans.

On Wednesday, former House speaker Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) announced his resignation from Congress, effective at the end of the year.

The House of Representatives removed New York Representative George Santos from office last week by a wide margin.

Ohio Representative Bill Johnson will resign from Congress early in the new year to take over as president of a university in his hometown.

With three empty seats (and more to come), the House will remain evenly divided (219-213) for now, meaning that Republicans can’t afford to lose more than three votes on party-line legislation.

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene vented her anger at the issue in an X post, claiming that Republican voters “didn’t give us the majority to sink the ship.”

She pointed the finger at the House Freedom Caucus and the 105 Republicans who voted to remove Santos for McCarthy’s removal, even though most members of the conservative organization opposed Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida’s motion to vacate.

New York Democrat Rep. Brian Higgins will also be leaving Congress shortly. In addition, Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips has been conspicuously missing from the House since beginning his unsuccessful Democratic primary challenge to Joe Biden for president.

In addition, if special elections are scheduled, Republicans are expected to win McCarthy’s and Johnson’s seats.

Still, the losses highlight the party’s precarious situation, especially because leading conservatives claim the Republicans have accomplished nothing despite their dominance.

Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA), known to post memes often, took issue with McCarthy’s resignation and what it may mean in a Wednesday post on X.

The speaker may be removed from their position with the simple motion of one House member saying, “Vacate the chair.” Members are complaining about Johnson but are also more understanding of his challenges in uniting House Republicans on significant issues.

Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), a valued advisor to McCarthy, noted that many members do not want to repeat McCarthy’s mistakes.