Why are Republicans leaving Congress?

GOP dysfunction puts the House majority at risk

Photo composite of a congressman climbing down from the Capitol dome
Heavy exits from Congress are "like a canary in the coal mine"
(Image credit: Illustration by Stephen Kelly / Getty Images)

Some of Congress' most experienced Republicans are headed for the exits.

The 118th Congress has been "dominated by deep dysfunction and bitter divisions" among House Republicans, CNN said, highlighted by an ousted speaker and the constant threats of government shutdowns. Rather than stick out the chaos, members of the GOP's "governing wing" are increasingly deciding to leave — nearly two dozen either resigning outright or choosing not to seek reelection. This is leading to concerns of "brain drain" among the party faithful. "They've signed up to do serious things," said Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who is also leaving. "And we're not doing serious things."

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