WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress, including several powerful committee chairmen, are rushing to retire rather than face re-election in the fall, a clear recognition that President Trump’s low approval rating will be a heavy weight on the party even with an improving economy.
Monday’s retirement announcement by Representative Ed Royce of California, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, brought to 30 the number of Republicans who either will be leaving office or seeking one other than in the House. Mr. Royce’s announcement punctuated an accelerating trend that leaves his party on treacherous footing in its effort to maintain control of Congress.
And more are coming. Representative Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona, is expected to announce this week that she will leave her swing-district seat to run for the Senate.
History is not on the side of Republicans, but they still have some structural advantages that give them hope.