The balance of power in the United States House of Representatives may see a major shift, after California Rep. Darrell Issa has announced he will retire at the end of his term.
Issa has been a stalwart conservative in the House of Representatives, leading investigations into the IRS bias against conservative groups, as well as the “Fast and the Furious” Obama scandal.
Issa won his last election by a single percentage point, and his re-election in the very Democratic California would have been an uphill battle. An open seat would likely be won by Democrats, pundits say.
Here is Issa’s tweet announcing his retirement.
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) January 10, 2018
California Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican who investigated some of the biggest scandals of the Obama presidency, is retiring from Congress at the end of this term, he announced Wednesday.
“Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve,” Issa said in a statement. “Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California’s 49th District.”
Issa, 64, served as chairman of House Oversight Committee from 2011 to 2015, where he led hearings into the IRS scandal, the attack in Benghazi and the Fast and Furious operation. In that role, he famously tangled with Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the panel, and former IRS official Lois Lerner and was a familiar presence on television.
A former businessman, Issa was first elected to Congress in 2001. But he was facing an uphill battle in his re-election after defeating his Democratic challenger by less than a percentage point in 2016. Democrats are eyeing the seat as a potential pickup opportunity in the midterm elections later this year.
Issa’s retirement follows a slew of other well-known Republican lawmakers stepping down for Congress, with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce announcing his retirement earlier this week.