Capitol Correspondence - 01.08.18

Three More Members of Congress Announce Retirement

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The tally of Members of Congress leaving the institution by either resigning or retiring is fast growing, with one Senator and two U.S. Representatives announcing last week that they will not seek re-election in November. Specifically, these were:

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), whose retirement is consequential for Medicaid. He is currently president pro-tem of the Senate, chair of the Senate Finance Committee and number 4 in the chain of succession for the President. See his video announcement here. Senator Hatch’s chairman position on the Senate Finance Committee is highly coveted because of the influence of the Committee and its oversight over topics like Medicaid, meaning Senator Hatch’s departure could to lead to a shuffling of chairs in other Committee. Senator Grassley (R-IA) is eligible under Senate seniority rules to chair the Finance Committee, but would have to give up his equally enviable position chairing the Judiciary Committee (which votes on judicial nominees). Senator Crapo (R-ID) is also eligible, but he would have to give up his chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee. Media has reported that Mitt Romney may run to replace Senator Hatch as Utahn Senator in November.This has not been officially confirmed by Romney or his staff.

U.S. Representative Bill Schuster (R-PA) is the fourth GOP chair of a committee to not seek re-election in what is likely to be a challenging election year despite his having a safe district. Read his announcement here.

U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS) is also not seeking re-election. Read his announcement here. Congressman Harper has been a champion to the IDD community because of his championship of the ADA and other disability bills during his term including ANCOR’s Disability Community Act (DCA) of 2016.  He has an adult son with IDD.. However, there is speculation that Senator Cochran (R-MS) may retire, in which case an opportunity for Harper to run for a Senate seat could be a possibility.