GOP Rep. Ed Royce of California, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced Monday that he will not run for reelection, making him the seventh GOP committee chairman to forgo seeking reelection since President Donald Trump took office.
Royce, who terms out as chairman this year per committee rules, is the latest in a string of prominent Republican lawmakers to decide against running for reelection.
“In this final year of my Foreign Affairs Committee chairmanship, I want to focus fully on the urgent threats facing our nation, including: the brutal, corrupt and dangerous regimes in Pyongyang and Tehran, Vladimir Putin’s continued efforts to weaponize information to fracture western democracies, and growing terrorist threats in Africa and Central Asia,” Royce said in a statement. “With this in mind, and with the support of my wife Marie, I have decided not to seek reelection in November.”
He joins 29 fellow House Republicans who have announced they are retiring, seeking another office or stepping down effective immediately since President Donald Trump entered the White House.
GOP leaders have acknowledged that the retirements are an issue, as Democrats have to flip 24 seats to take the majority in 2018.
“We’ve got to find better ways to empower people where they feel like this is worth their time,” Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas told the National Journal after he met with his Republican colleagues to discuss the problem.
Royce, who has been recently been active in pushing for sanctions against Pakistan, thanked his constituents and touted some of his legislative accomplishments.
“In recent years, we’ve made a real difference. From Sacramento to Washington, we’ve enacted critical reforms to combat the modern day slavery of human trafficking.” Royce said in the statement. “We’ve achieved commonsense tax and regulatory reforms to help small businesses and middle class families realize their American dream. And with great persistence, we’ve helped shut down the global ivory trade to save the world’s most majestic animals and deny vital funding to terrorist groups and criminal networks.”
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