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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

GOP’s Gallagher won’t seek re-election, adds to House departures

U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., speaks outside the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 29, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS)  (Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Tony Czuczka Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON – Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin who broke with most of his colleagues by refusing to vote for the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, said he won’t seek re-election in November.

Gallagher, the chairman of a House committee looking into China’s military and economic threats to the U.S., has faced a party backlash after helping halt the impeachment effort and landing House Speaker Mike Johnson with an unexpected defeat on Tuesday.

Gallagher, 39, was once considered a rising star in the party. He dove into the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, saying he wanted “identify the bipartisan center of gravity” where Republicans and Democrats could agree on how to ensure U.S. supremacy in the competition with China in sectors such as critical technology.

His announcement closely follows the retirement of GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who said Thursday she won’t run for re-election after almost 20 years in Congress. House Financial Services Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., a key ally of the crypto industry, plans to retire when his term ends in January .

Gallagher, a four-term House member, ran afoul of his caucus on the Mayorkas impeachment – a vote spurred by a record number of migrants at the southern U.S. border and former President Donald Trump’s elevation of immigration to a main theme of his 2024 election campaign.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Gallagher said impeachment wouldn’t resolve the “border crisis” he blamed on President Joe Biden and “would also set a dangerous new precedent that would be used against future Republican administrations.”

Gallagher emerged as an outspoken critic of China on Capitol Hill, seeking to curb the flow of American investor money into China by focusing on sectors of the Chinese economy rather than individual businesses. Yet his committee’s lack of legislative authority means its proposals are at the mercy of other committee chairs.

In a report in December, the panel recommended raising tariffs on goods from China and further restricting investment into China.

Gallagher’s announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, cited the intentions of the framers of the U.S. Constitution.

“Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career and, trust me, Congress is no place to grow old,” he said.