ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Prominent Republican Charlie Dent stepping down from Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep Charlie Dent announced Tuesday that he will be leaving his role in Congress “in the coming weeks.”

Dent, a high profile moderate from Pennsylvania, hinted in September that he wouldn’t seek another term in office after serving as a member of Congress since 2005.

“After discussions with my family and careful reflection, I have decided to leave Congress in the coming weeks,” Dent said in a statement. “Serving the people of the 15th Congressional district has been a tremendous responsibility and the privilege of a lifetime, and I am honored by the trust that so many of my constituents placed in me to represent them in Washington. Actively engaging in the legislative and political process presents many challenges, and in so doing, I believe I have had a positive impact on people’s lives and made a difference in Congress.

I am especially proud of the work I have done to give voice to the sensible center in our country that is often overlooked or ignored. It is my intention to continue to aggressively advocate for responsible governance and pragmatic solutions in the coming years.”

Dent becomes the twenty-third Republican to announce they would not be seeking another congressional term. His announcement follows that of Paul Ryan who announced last week that he too will be stepping down from his congressional role as Speaker of the House at the beginning of 2018.

Dent’s announcement angered some Pennsylvania Republicans who say worrying about replacing Dent ahead of what promises to be a hotly contested mid-term election has put undue pressure on the GOP.

“I had called on him [Charlie Dent] to tell the truth months ago,” Tom Carroll, the chairman of the Bethlehem Republican City Committee and vice chair of the Lehigh Valley Tea Party, told Salon. “I had heard that he was going to be resigning to set up a special election so that he could manipulate who would win because the party rules in special elections are different than just in a normal primary. He was confronted [by] numerous sources and said he wasn’t going to resign. So, once again, he has not told the truth. I find him quite honestly reprehensible at this point. I say, ‘Good riddance.'”

He added, “I think it’s disgusting that he’s done this in a way that now we’re forced to have a special election prior to a general election coming up. He’s costing taxpayers money, if that’s the way it goes.”





RYAN STEPS DOWN: Paul Ryan announces he will vacate role as Speaker of the House effective January

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Wednesday that he will resign his role as the leader of the majority party effective January 2019.

“This year will be my last one as a member of the House,” Ryan told a sea of waiting reporters after notifying his GOP colleagues in a closed-door meeting moments before. “I will be retiring in January, leaving this majority in good hands with what I believe is a very bright future.”

“This is a job that does not last forever,” said Ryan, who became speaker in 2015 after former House Speaker, Ohio Republican John Boehner, abruptly resigned. “It’s fleeting, and that inspires you to do big things. And on that score, I think we’ve achieved a heck of a lot.”

Becoming visibly emotional during points of his announcement, Ryan said family considerations weighed heavily on his decision to step down, explaining that his daughter was 13 when he became speaker and he did not want to be a “weekend Dad” for the remainder of her teen years.

“This has been one of the two greatest honors of my life,” Ryan said. “The job provides incredible opportunities. But the truth is, it’s easy for it to take over everything in your life. And you can’t just let that happen. Because there are other things in life that can be fleeting as well — namely, your time as a husband and a dad, which is the other great honor of my life.”

Ryan said the upcoming midterm elections, which some say will be a battle for Republicans to win, did not factor into his retirement decision “at all.” Nor, said Ryan, did any rumored conflicts he may have with President Donald Trump.

“I’m grateful to the president for giving us this opportunity to do big things to get this country on the right track,” said Ryan.

Taking to Twitter following Ryan’s announcement, the president thanked Ryan for a job well done and wished the Wisconsin native well.

“Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question. We are with you Paul!” Trump tweeted.

Mitt Ryan, who essentially put Ryan on the map by choosing him as his vice-president nominee during the 2012 presidential election, praised his former running mate and thanked him for stepping in to fill the Speaker role when duty called.

“He unified the House, passed scores of bills, and led with integrity, honor and dignity,” Romney wrote. “The country will miss Speaker Ryan.”

Rep. Charlie Dent, (R)-Penn., when asked by a reporter who may be tapped to replace Ryan, said it was too early to tell.

“The bigger issue right now is just trying to maintain the majority,” said Dent, who is retiring this year, adding that Republicans face a “toxic” environment during the 2018 mid-terms.

“This is going to be a challenging year,” said Dent.