The Democratic Party may have a chance at regaining the House after a plethora of Republicans announced in recent months that they are retiring. The latest is Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who confirmed on Monday that he will not seek re-election in the 2018 mid-terms.
Royce, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will become the 30th House Republican to retire, step down, or seek another office since President Donald Trump entered the White House. Since the Democrats only need to flip 24 seats, could the Trump agenda experience a setback next year?
Ed Royce to Retire
President Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and House Senate Leader Mitch McConnell may find themselves at a disadvantage later this year when the House of Representatives is up for grabs.
On Monday, Rep. Ed Royce announced that he will not seek re-election in November. With the support of his wife, Marie, he says he thinks it best to take a step back from politics.
In a statement, Royce said it has been an “honor” to represent the 39th Congressional District, and to help pass policies that will benefit everyone “from Sacramento to Washington.” He cited tax reform, regulatory reform, and fighting the modern-day slavery of human trafficking as some of his biggest accomplishments.
In his final year on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Royce promised to tackle immediate threats to the U.S., including Iran, Russia, and North Korea.
Royce thanked his constituents in a statement, saying:
I want to extend my deepest appreciation to the people of the 39th District for entrusting me with the responsibility to represent them. Our district is blessed to be diverse, and I’ve been successful in part because of my great staff and the relationships we’ve built with families, businesses, and leaders in each of our communities.
Orange County will always be home to Marie and me, and we look forward to being with all our friends at Lunar New Years, Korean American Days, Fourth of Julys, and many other community events for years to come.
Prior to his arrival on Capitol Hill in 2013, Royce was prominent in California state politics. He served as a state senator and a state representative.
Republicans Have an Uphill Battle in 2018
If President Trump wants to make progress on infrastructure, immigration, trade, and criminal justice, then he, along with Ryan and McConnell, may need to do it before the mid-term elections.
With Royce retiring, he joins 29 other House Republicans who will be giving up their seats. Representative Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Representative Charlie Dent (R-Penn.), Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), and Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) have all submitted their notices to the party and their constituents.
Since the Democrats only need to flip 24 seats in November, the GOP leadership faces a challenge. Even in the Senate, the president is soon to lose some key upcoming votes in Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Reportedly, Hatch may be succeeded by two-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The Republicans lost “big league” in Alabama last month, and the Democrats did well in November as well, winning the governor’s mansions in Virginia and New Jersey.
Is the Republican Party doomed come November 6? Not so fast. As President Trump proved in 2016, it isn’t over until the electorate cast their ballots.