February 12th, 2010
02:49 PM ET
4 years ago

List of House retirements keeps growing

The list of retirements in the House of Representatives continues to grow.
The list of retirements in the House of Representatives continues to grow.

Washington (CNN) - It seems it's becoming a trend.

"Having spent two decades in politics, my life is taking a new direction and I will not be a candidate for reelection this year," said Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island in a video message released Thursday night. Kennedy becomes the fourth member of the House of Representatives to announce over the past three days that they'll retire at the end of the year rather than run for re-election.

If you are keeping score, eight House Democrats have now announced they are retiring. That doesn't include former Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida, who has already stepped down, to head up the Center for Middle East Peace. A special election will be held in April to fill his seat for the rest of the year. Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii is expected to resign later this month, to run full time for governor. A special election will be held for his seat in the next few months. Five other House Democrats are making bids for state wide office this year rather than run for re-election in November. That means that as of now, the Democrats will be defending 13 open seats in the midterm elections.

But it's not just a problem for Democrats. Six House Republicans are retiring at the end of the year, and another 12 are making bids for state-wide office rather than run for re-election. Do the math and you have the GOP, as of now, defending 18 vacant seats come November.

Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, the Chairman National Republican Congressional Committee, told reporters this week that "not all retirements are created equal."

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Filed under: 2010
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Obama mama

    Hurray. Let's clear out the corruption and ideology. We need a congress for the people.

    Now if we can just get Rangle, Waters, Boxer, Waxman, Barney Frank, and Pelosi to retire.

    February 12, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Glenn Koons

    Sessions is correct. All of the Dem openings must be filled with CenterRight Pubs. All 17 of the GOP openings and must be filled with Right Pubs. Do not allow any of the 435 House seats go unopposed. Even liberal lemmings might just realize what a disaster the Dems are and give a Pub another chance.

    February 12, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Not all retirements are created equal, but the congressional GOP members are drawing a paycheck and health care for doing nothing to help Americans. Whining Wingnuts on Welfare are the worst..

    February 12, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. james Miller

    Once they have stuffed themselves even pigs leave the trough to "retire" and enjoy their fill.

    February 12, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. vwrtb

    I hope the republicans destroy the democrats... I can't wait to tell my neighbors they don't have the right to choose... The right to marry... The right to affordable health care... The right to join a union... The right to...

    February 12, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. P. D.

    I think all Politicains should do us all a favor and retire,

    February 12, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. joe m

    i for one would not mind if the entiere lot retires and we get new people who may actually be interested in getting things done, rather than simply staying in office. if a president can only serve for a maximum of 2 terms (8 years) then the same limit should be imposed upon all other politicians.

    February 12, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Snerdly, the invisible token

    Sessions represents the Texas swordmakers union and ExxonMobil,he just bought his nascar style jumpsuit and will be driving seat number 3.

    February 12, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    Once the GOP purifies the ones up for election, pickin's will be mighty slim. Very few people that WORK for the citizens follow anybody lockstep like the republicans do.

    February 12, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    People do the math: there are fewer Republicans in the House to begin with than Democrats. Learn think and don't get lost in the media's one sided reporting.

    February 12, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. Bertina

    The only thing this proves is that NO ONE wants to take the blame or the responsibility for the economy.

    February 12, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. PREDICTA

    The day of reckoning is approaching. November will be the biggest bloodbath of democrats in history. It will be generations before they are allowed to run this country again.

    February 12, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. T'SAH from Virginia

    "List of House Retirements Keeps Growing"

    I guess this is CHANGE we can BELIEVE in!!! Old Politics OUT – New Politics IN!!! Yes We Can!!!

    February 12, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Marc

    Glenn Koons – 'Even liberal lemmings'?
    And what are you dude? 'Goper lemming' maybe?
    Back at the issue at hand, for now its just politics folks.
    Both sides are claiming that they have the upper hand on the districts that voted in their candidates and have more chances on those that voted on the other candidates. They don't know yet WHO they'll put on the race or WHO is going to be running against their candidates, but they sdo think that its their obligation to brag a little now...

    February 12, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. Annie, Atlanta

    I would retire too if I were a representative in the house. The Senate is dysfunctional. If I saw all my work day in and day out coming to a standstill in our very own "House of Lords," I'd quit and go onto something a little more productive.

    I just have to comment here with regards to a lot of the comments I read regularly, because I can't help myself.

    The buzz words unions and welfare queens really stick out for me, today. I was raised in a teamster union house. My Dad certainly didn't make what CEOs of insurance companies make. Back in 1983, shortly before he retired, he was making about $12 an hour. Wow. Compare that with $10-25 Million a year with 3 times that much in stock, and I don't see how unions could ever be the cause of our woes. Seriously. There is corruption at the top. There always is when it involves money and power. But the union workers are just the worker bees. They work hard, pay their dues, and reap the meager benefits from a lifetime of that. Leave them alone. (And I won't even get into the Wall Streeters who keep their winnings and come to us to cover their losses – all of which appears to be ok with the GOP. Why?)

    Now, welfare queens, OMG. It dawned on me last night that we have paid the GOP members of congress for more than a year (at what $170,000 plus a year plus benefits including health insurance and travel expenses) for doing nothing, NOTHING! The next time I see someone blaming welfare queens for gaming the system, I will, of course, be forced to point this out.

    February 12, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    The typical gop/bagger response will be to magnify the dem departures and completly ignore the republican ones. Their math (and history) skills are abnormal to say the least.

    February 12, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    They are quitting left and right (no Pun intended). More better follow their lead because come fall the voters will retire them all, no matter what party they belong to.
    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to, and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    February 12, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Thad

    Re: the retirements of these elite members of congress is not surprising. The polls revealed that When Bush was in office that his ratings had gone down to 20 percent while congress had went down to 14 percent. NOw i hear that congress rating is now 20 percent. My question what has congress done since bush to go to 20 percent. what bills have they enacted that made america betterl.

    February 12, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. MIKE

    Now wait for the media spin and saying democrats will loose to republicans. Why not the other way round?

    February 12, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Who said the Mayans were wrong?

    2010 or 2012?If we allow the rightwing fascists to regain power it will be a sure sign the Mayans,Nostradamus,and the last book were right.

    February 12, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Marie Theresa

    How I wish Republicans (and some Democrats) could remember they are Americans first and try, really try to meet the President part way. They are so negative about everything and their comments are hurtful in the effort to get together on issues.

    February 12, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Lisa

    everyone is tired. Nothing is'nt getting done with the current admin because all the repubs can say is no and the dems are just lingering things on because of this

    February 12, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Dean

    If tehy would all retire we could possibly see the light at the end of our ever lengthening tunnel.

    February 12, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. Simon Anderson

    Interesting – when a Democrat announces his retirement, the right wing nuts all claim it's a sign that they know they are doomed. When the republicans announce retirement – these same right wing nuts all agree it must have been to spend time with their families. As usual, the right wants to distort reality beyond belief. Dems will NOT lose control of the House or the Senate although I expect them to lose some seats.

    February 12, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Steve (the real one)

    GI Joe February 12th, 2010 3:14 pm ET

    Once the GOP purifies the ones up for election, pickin's will be mighty slim. Very few people that WORK for the citizens follow anybody lockstep like the republicans do
    -------------
    Sorry GI Joe,

    The purity issue is a dead arguement. I said before it was stupid for the GOP to even addess it. The GOP shot it down, hence it is dead. Speaking of lockstep, you guys are ripping the Blue Dogs badly simply because they are NOT marching in lockstep with the liberal agenda! You fuss about the GOP marching in lockstep when that it your very desire for the Blue Dogs!

    February 12, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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