Joining an unprecedented wave of Republican resignations is Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey’s 11th District, who announced this morning that he will become the 33rd Republican to not run for re-election in the 2018 midterms.
He is the ninth House Committee chairman to choose not to seek another term, leaving the House Appropriations Committee ripe for the taking – and opening a crucial opportunity for Democrats to grab significant influence over government spending and directing it towards more socially productive projects.
His departure also puts yet another key Congressional seat into play, with pundits immediately remarking that this put the “Leaning Republican” district into solid “Toss-up” territory. Trump won this district by one point.
Remarkable: Rodney Frelinghuysen is the NINTH (9th) House GOP committee chair who’s retiring or seeking other office.
Many others were term-limited out as chair; he is not.
His NJ district is a high Democratic target, rated R+3.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 29, 2018
It remains to be seen whether this wave of resignations and retirements are in response to President Trump’s appalling disrespect for our institutions and the media, his open dalliance with white supremacy and his incessant effort to obstruct justice – or if it is to return to the private sector to reap the rewards of ramming through the massive collection of tax cuts and handouts to the wealthy that Congress passed late last year.
Either way, it’s great news for Democrats. Public disgust for Donald Trump’s behavior is setting the stage for a historic blue wave that could flip the houses of Congress – and being able to reclaim control of the all-important committee chairmanships is a top priority.