Vulnerable New York Democrat Rep. Kathleen Rice announced Tuesday she would retire from Congress after 30 years of public service, making her the 30th House Democrat to announce plans to leave the House after this year. Thus, further hurting the party’s chances of keeping their slim majority in the upcoming midterm elections.
“Though I will not be running for re-election to Congress this year, I will remain focused on protecting our democracy and serving my constituents throughout the rest of my term,” Rice wrote in a statement announcing her retirement and becoming the 30th Democrat to announce plans to exit the House.
“I entered public service 30 years ago and never left. It has been the honor of my life to serve as a prosecutor, district attorney, and U.S. Representative,” she wrote. “As elected officials, we must give all we have and then know when it is time to allow others to serve.”
As I turn to the next chapter of my own personal and professional story, I do so with profound thanks to the community leaders, colleagues and staff who have lived our shared commitment to service with courage and humility. pic.twitter.com/GBVvtrWpia
— Kathleen Rice (@RepKathleenRice) February 15, 2022
With the Democrats trying to retain their slim majority after the midterms, every Democrat who announces they are leaving, including Democrats in safe seats, puts more strain on the party and its resources since they will have to invest time in helping elect another Democrat. As of now, the Republicans have been the favorite for being in the majority after the midterms, as they only need to net five seats.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the House Republican campaign committee, has targeted Rice’s seat since last year. In May, Rice was a part of the vulnerable Democrats the committee added to their list of offensive seats.
In response to Rice’s retirement, NRCC spokesman Mike Berg said, “Thirty House Democrats have called it quits because they know their majority is doomed.”
Another Republican-aligned group, Congressional Leadership Fund, rejoiced on Rice’s retirement.
“Everyone is too afraid to run as a House Democrat because they know their caucus is about to see mass layoffs this November,” said CLF Communications Director Calvin Moore. “The 2022 elections are coming up quick and Democrats need [to] decide now whether they want to retire or stick around and get fired.”
During Rice’s time in office, she has voted with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on 100 percent of the major votes in the current Congress, as the Democrats have tried to pass radical wish list items from President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.
Some of those partisan votes include the $1.2 trillion, 2,702-page so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill last year — which Biden has already signed into law — and the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act (BBB) — also known as the Democrats’ reconciliation infrastructure bill, which was stalled in the Senate after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he could not vote for it.
More recently, the House also passed the two “freedom to cheat” voter bills — the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — which would cripple Republican attempts across the country to increase election integrity. But both bills were also held up in the Senate by a filibuster.
While Rice becomes the 30th Democrat to announce she will not seek re-election in the House, the congresswoman is only the 22nd to announce they are actually retiring from the public eye — including three committee chairs — while eight more Democrats announced they would run for a different office, either in a local or state election.
With rumors of more Democrats planning to announce they are retiring from the House, Moore questioned who is the next Democrat to retire in an email blast. He listed off vulnerable House Democrats such as Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Kim Schrier (D-GA), Frank Mrvan (D-IN), and Dan Kildee (D-MI).
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.