Rep. Pat Tiberi of Ohio has announced he is leaving Congress, and possibly will not even finish his term, joining a growing list of Republican lawmakers fleeing Congress.
Since Donald Trump took office, the Republican Party has been slowly but steadily hemorrhaging incumbents in Congress.
So far this year, seven House Republicans have announced they will retire at the end of their term, not counting those who are preparing to run for higher office. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee is also not seeking re-election, and is taking the opportunity to speak his mind about Trump in graphic language. Meanwhile, two more House Republicans — Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania — resigned without finishing their term.
Now, House Republicans have lost yet another important member of their caucus: Rep. Pat Tiberi of Ohio.
According to The New York Times, Tiberi “could announce his plan to leave Congress as soon as this week, Republican officials said, though it is unclear when he intends to vacate his seat.” Why? Because he is reportedly frustrated with the inability of the unified Republican government to accomplish anything:
Mr. Tiberi did not respond to a phone call or a text message seeking comment on Wednesday night. But some of Mr. Tiberi’s colleagues said that the grind of their jobs had gotten no better since Donald J. Trump’s election last year, giving Republicans full control of Washington.
The fact that Indivisible Ohio activists have been visiting Tiberi’s office every week for months cannot have made Tiberi’s life any easier, either.
Losing Tiberi would be a particular blow to House Speaker Paul Ryan, because it would bring the number of Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee who are retiring or resigning to seven. As this committee is central to the GOP’s plans for its sweeping tax cut bill, it is an ill omen for their policy prospects.
Moreover, this comes at the same time that Decision Desk HQ is revising the probability of Democrats winning the House next year to 46 percent.
Every day seems to bring worse news for congressional Republicans hoping to survive voter wrath in 2018. It is time they started doing their jobs and listening to voters, rather than catering to Trump’s every whim and appeasing the donor class — or the news will only get worse.