Key US Lawmaker May End His House Term Early

21 Avril, 2017, 18:42 | Author: Claudine Rigal

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, made a surprising announcement Wednesday saying he would not be running for re-election next year.

Chaffetz, who has served several terms in Congress, said he chose to announce his decision now to give other candidates the proper time period to build a successful campaign. Instead, the five-term congressman said he wants to spend time with his family, return to the private sector and potentially run for Utah governor.

Chaffetz said he continues to have the confidence of House leadership to remain chair of the committee through next year. The chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz also ran for Speaker of the House in 2015 after Rep. John Boehner stepped down.

In his farewell Facebook post, which may be the official send-off to his supporters, Chaffetz wrote: "Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Representative in the United States House of Representatives".

James Evans, Chair of the Utah Republican Party, says Utah's race won't be so contested.

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Chaffetz told NPR's Morning Edition in February that his committee was concerned with possible mishandling of classified information when Trump was apparently briefed on a North Korean missile test at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida while dining with the Japanese prime minister. After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time.

"My future plans are not yet finalized, but I haven't ruled out the possibility of leaving early", he said.

There has been speculation that McMullin planned to challenge Chaffetz for his seat in 2018.

"Chairman Chaffetz' behavior has always been beneath the dignity of the office he holds and he should step down as Chairman of the Oversight Committee immediately", said Tyler Law, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman. Chaffetz told that outlet, and Politico as well, that he was not ruling out a future run for office.

While the natural temptation and easy click bait for some websites are to blame the Russian Federation scandal for his decision, the political reality is that Chaffetz is likely leaving because he thinks Republicans have a good chance of losing the House in 2018, and he doesn't want to serve in the House minority. "I've already invested years in the House and it's essentially the same job, just more people over here and more competition". Trump dashed Chaffetz's plans to become a household name.

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