Powerful Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen Announces Retirement

January 29, 2018Jan 29, 2018

On Monday morning, media headlines reported some bad news for President Trump. Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is announcing that he will not be seeking re-election in his highly competitive district. 

According to Frelinghuysen, he has tried his best to work in a bipartisan manner, not only in times of crisis but always, believing that it is the best way to serve both the country and constituents. 

“I have worked in a bipartisan manner, not just in times of crisis but always, because I believe it best serves my constituents, my state and our country," Frelinghuysen said. "I have sincerely endeavored to earn that trust every day and I thank my constituents and my home state of New Jersey for the honor to serve and I will continue to do so to the best of my abilities through the end of my term."

The Hill reports that Frelinghuysen is the latest of a vast list of House Republicans facing difficult prospects for re-election. Rather than deciding to risk losing their seat, many of them have decided to retire. 

President Trump himself, who was able to win very unusual places for a Republican, was only able to win the New Jersey representatives district by a single point over Hillary Clinton in 2016. According to The Hill, this makes it a top target for Democrats desiring to win the House majority in this year's midterm elections. 

On top of this, Frelinghuysen has been receiving harsh criticism from his constituents, both Republican and Democrat, who are unhappy with his voting record. He faced backlash after voting for the GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare last year. His constituents, which are heavily Democrat and Independent, were unhappy with his decision to vote in this way. 

At the same time, the New Jersey representative voted against the GOP tax cuts, according to The Hill. This earned him criticism from many Republicans in his state.

According to Business Insider, Frelinghuysen is now the ninth chair of the House committee to not seek reelection in Congress. Many of the planned retirees are currently coming from swing districts with tough political climates, who risk the chance of not being re-elected in 2018. 

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