House Financial Services Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who served as speaker pro tempore after the ousting of Speaker Emeritus Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), will not seek an 11th term in Congress.
McHenry, first elected in the 2004 election, issued an official statement on his congressional webpage Tuesday.
“I will be retiring from Congress at the end of my current term. This is not a decision I come to lightly, but I believe there is a season for everything and—for me—this season has come to an end,” he wrote.
I will be retiring from Congress at the end of my current term. I believe there is a season for everything and—for me—this season has come to an end. I look forward to what comes next for my family and me.https://t.co/QCVurSYuhm
— Patrick McHenry (@PatrickMcHenry) December 5, 2023
McHenry shot down critics’ concerns about the future of the House as he joins a number of other Republicans in not seeking reelection next year:
There has been a great deal of handwringing and ink spilled about the future of this institution because some—like me—have decided to leave. Those concerns are exaggerated. I’ve seen a lot of change over twenty years. I truly feel this institution is on the verge of the next great turn. Whether it’s 1974, 1994, or 2010, we’ve seen the House evolve over time. Evolutions are often lumpy and disjointed but at each stage, new leaders emerge. There are many smart and capable members who remain, and others are on their way. I’m confident the House is in good hands.
Politico’s Olivia Beavers was the first to report ahead of McHenry’s official announcement on his forthcoming departure at the end of 118th Congress .
🚨🚨🚨Rep. Patrick MCHENRY (R-N.C.), chair of Financial Servcices, is expected to announce he won’t seek re-election today, though he plans to finish out the rest of his term, per multiple sources.
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) December 5, 2023
McHenry, who represents North Carolina’s Tenth Congressional District, is an ally of McCarthy and served as one of his top deputies during his tenure as speaker, including as a lead GOP negotiator in the House’s debt ceiling negotiations with the White House.
After Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven other Republicans ousted McCarthy from the speakership through a motion to vacate in October, McHenry assumed the role of Speaker pro tempore as the House descended into chaos for weeks without a speaker.
During this time, several top Republicans ran for the speakership, including Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), and Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), but none of them were able to consolidate enough support in the GOP conference to win the position. Ultimately, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) won the conference nomination and then the gavel on the floor with unanimous support from the GOP conference.
After Johnson was elected, the Washington Post’s Marianna Sotomayor noted McHenry looked “relieved he no longer serves as speaker pro tempore, a role he never wanted.”
“Upon declaring Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), he stepped off the speaker’s dais and bowed as his Republican colleagues cheered him on,” she added.
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