Republican Issa is retiring: another prominent GOPer calls it quits

Cheryl Sanders
January 13, 2018

Democrats picked up 15 House seats in November, part of the party's first big wave of political victories since Republican President Donald Trump won the White House in 2016. Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton carried his district ― an increasingly diverse enclave of residents ― by 9 percentage points in the 2016 election.

Republicans, meanwhile, expressed confidence they could hold onto Issa's seat, not least because of the crowded field of Democrats.

Royce is the latest of some 30 House Republicans who have announced they are retiring. He is chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee on courts, intellectual property, and the internet, and serves on an antitrust subcommittee.

Issa, 64, was almost unseated in 2016 when Democratic Douglas Applegate came within 1,700 votes of winning the northern San Diego-county based seat, according to data from the California Secretary of State.

Those results made Issa perhaps the most endangered Republican member of Congress heading into the 2018 election cycle.

Royce said Kim "will be an effective voice for middle class families and for policies that keep our country secure, grow jobs and increase economic opportunities for the people of our 39th District".

And a move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to free prosecutors to more aggressively enforce federal marijuana laws has prompted breaks from the president by prominent Republicans in states where marijuana is legal, such as Sen.

Demographic changes - especially the drift of college-age and female voters to the Democrats - have undone some of that geographical advantage, but Republicans remain cautiously optimistic that they can hang onto power.

However, Republicans see a silver lining in the sheer number of Democratic challengers in some of these races.

"While Democrats fight with each other, Republicans will focus on fighting Democrats - and that's how we plan to win", Stivers said.

Even after the passing of the GOP tax bill, the traditional big business base for the Republicans who intend on buying seats in Congress from both sides of the aisle to pass even more middle-class destructive regulation. GOP officials said the party has solid recruits in both races. Democrats have sought guarantees from Republicans that they would not stack the legislative committees. Among the retirees are the chairmen of the House Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Financial Services, Transportation and Science committees.

Democrats need 24 seats nationwide to take Congress and restore the Speaker's gavel to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

If Republicans maintain control of the House, Representative Michael McCaul, a foreign affairs committee member who is now chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is seen as a possible new leader of the foreign affairs panel, congressional aides said.

Freking reported from Washington.

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