House Republicans will need to find another new caucus member come 2020.
Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL), who at times has been at odds with President Donald Trump, has announced that he will not be seeking reelection, The Hill reports.
The job is done
Rooney made the announcement about his decision during an interview with Fox News on Saturday. When asked whether he would run for a third term in Congress, Rooney said, “I don’t think I really do, and I don’t think I really want one,” according to USA Today. A spokesperson for the congressman subsequently confirmed his intentions to The Hill.
Rooney’s rationale is that he came to Congress with a mission to accomplish, and having accomplished that mission, there is no reason to hang around. That mission was twofold; he wanted to obtain money for Everglades projects, and he wanted to implement an offshore drilling ban to protect his state.
“I thought it might take three terms, but I think I’ve done it in less than two,” Rooney said, according to The New York Times. “We’ve gotten over 10 times as much money per year for the Everglades.”
“I’ve done what I came to do”
Rooney has long been a supporter of term limits for those in Congress. Accordingly, he hopes that his political career will serve as an example for others.
“I’ve done what I came to do,” he said, according to Politico. “I want to be a model for term limits.”
Rooney will be the 19th House Republican to retire before the upcoming 2020 elections. But his soon-to-be-vacant spot is reportedly not a worry for the GOP.
In 2016, President Trump won Rooney’s district with almost 60% of the vote. With that in mind, the GOP is confident that they will be able to get another Republican in Rooney’s seat.
Rooney and Trump
While in Congress, Rooney has, at times, sided with Democrats against Trump. For example, he voted against the president’s emergency declaration at the border, and he voted for an amendment that would prevent President Trump from funding military action in Iran without Congress’ approval.
Rooney has also been the sole House Republican to express that he won’t rule out impeaching President Trump. Comments that he made this week, particularly after White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s recent remarks, seem to have pushed Rooney toward believing that a quid pro quo took place between President Trump and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, despite the fact that it has been denied by both men.
His lack of support for Trump has undoubtedly made Rooney unpopular among his colleagues in recent weeks. We can speak for all conservatives when we say: good riddance.