A GOP congressman says he has 'zero concerns' about the wave of departures from the House: 'We probably need a few more retirements'

Bob Good
Rep. Bob Good of Virginia.AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
  • Rep. Bob Good isn't concerned about the wave of House GOP retirements ahead of the 2024 elections.

  • "I think the retirements are a wonderful thing," the Virginia congressman recently told CNN.

  • Kevin McCarthy suggested to CNN that the departures were a goal of figures like Good and Matt Gaetz.

In recent months, members of both parties have lamented the wave of retirements from Congress, with some influential members calling it quits at the height of their congressional careers.

But for GOP Rep. Bob Good of Virginia — the conservative Freedom Caucus chair who was one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust then-Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California as speaker last year — the departures have been a welcome turn of events.

"I think the retirements are a wonderful thing," Good recently told CNN. "I have no concerns, zero concerns. We probably need a few more retirements."

McCarthy recently hinted that the retirements are a desire of GOP figures like Good and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who both made his life incredibly difficult when he wielded the speaker's gavel and were instrumental to his removal as speaker.

The Californian declined to run for reelection after his ouster and resigned from the House in December 2023, over a year before his term was set to end in January 2025.

"It's unfortunate because you think of the brain trust you are losing. I blame a lot of the 'crazy eights' led by Gaetz," McCarthy told CNN. "They want to make this place dysfunctional to try to wear people out. It's very sad."

"It makes it more difficult for getting people to run in the current climate," he added.

However, Good dismissed concerns about congressional turnover, even as Republicans control the House, albeit narrowly.

"Brain drain? Why don't you survey the country and see if there is any brain to drain in Congress," he told CNN. "Congress has a 20% approval rating. Most of what we do to the country is bad."

As of Tuesday, 21 GOP lawmakers have chosen not to run for reelection this year or are running for another public office.

Some of the highest-profile Republican retirements in recent months have come from members like Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, who chairs the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, and Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

Even after muscling through a successful impeachment vote for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — a longtime goal of House GOP leaders — Green is headed for the exits. (Gallagher was one of just three Republicans, along with Rep. Tom McClintock of California and retiring Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, who opposed Mayorkas' impeachment.)

GOP Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona, who last year announced she wouldn't seek reelection, remarked to CNN that gridlock has played a role in some members choosing to move on from Congress.

"You give up your family, sacrifice being without your family all the time, in exchange for thinking we're really going to accomplish something and get something done," she told the network. "And when that doesn't happen, you start thinking, 'Well, is it worth it?'"

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