House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was already facing tough odds for maintaining her majority control of Congress in the 2022 midterm elections, and now those odds may have grown even tougher after one of her most loyal lieutenants just announced she will not be running for re-election.
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), formerly the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), revealed Friday that she will retire from Congress at the conclusion of the current term, Breitbart reported.
Time to step aside for a “new voice”
In an announcement video, Rep. Bustos let it be known that she plans to step aside from Congress at the end of the current term after 10 years in office to make way for “a new voice,” and though she declined to provide details on what her “next chapter” might entail, she hinted strongly that she wasn’t entirely finished with politics.
According to Politico, the congresswoman’s announced retirement plans come on the heels of her decision to step down from leadership at the DCCC, during which Democrats had shockingly lost around a dozen seats in the 2020 election when the party was predicted to gain seats and expand its House majority.
It also adds an interesting wrinkle to how the Democratic-controlled Illinois General Assembly will deal with Bustos’ district when redrawing the state’s congressional district maps to account for the loss of a seat in Congress following the updated census data and reapportionment.
Given that the district was trending red in recent election cycles, the current thought is that it could be cannibalized to shift some of the more Democratic-leaning portions to firm up other Democratic-leaning districts, with the remaining Republican-leaning areas combined with other red districts, perhaps even forcing multiple Republicans to fight against each other for the vacant seat.
Targeted by NRCC
Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) celebrated Rep. Bustos’ impending departure with a simple one-sentence statement: “Cheri Bustos made the right decision to retire rather than face defeat in 2022.”
The congresswoman was one of the more prominent among more than two dozen Democratic House incumbents targeted by the NRCC in an “exit list” of members expected to either retire or run for a different or higher office ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
“House Democrats are running for the exits because they know they’re in for a bruising election cycle which will cost them their jobs and their House majority,” NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer (R-MN) said of the list. “They’d rather move on than have to spend another election defending their socialist agenda that will strip Americans of their private health insurance, defund the police, open our borders and raise taxes.”
Bustos now joins two other House Democrats on that list who have already announced their plans to retire from Congress at the end of the current term — Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-NM) and Filemon Vela (D-TX) — with likely more retirement announcements to come over the next year.
Is Pelosi’s retirement coming soon?
As noted, the 2022 situation was already looking rather grim for Speaker Pelosi and her historically slim majority control over the House.
Now, with the impending loss of one of Pelosi’s top loyalists in the House, and with Republicans mounting a concerted effort to regain the majority, it could be Pelosi’s announced plans of retirement that Americans will finally hear at some point in the near future.
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Author: Ben Marquis
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