A moderate Republican Congressman is calling it quits and he’s burning the right-wing side of his party as he exits.
Roll Call reported Thursday that Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) will not seek reelection after 14 years in federal office and 27 years in public service. But, it’s the commentary Dent had on the way out that made his announcement unique.
He touted his membership in the “Tuesday Group Caucus,” which he described as “the governing wing” of Congress made up of “a group of more than 50 center-right Republicans dedicated to effective and responsible governance.” Ensuring “responsible governance” has apparently been more difficult as the tea party and the right-wing cemented their control of the Republican Party.
“I’ve worked to instill stability, certainty and predictability in Washington,” he said in the announcement. “I’ve fought to fulfill the basic functions of Government, like keeping the lights on and preventing default.”
But, Dent said it hasn’t been easy and he blames groups that want to see more anti-government obstructionists in office.
“Regrettably, that has not been easy given the disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder and chaos,” the statement explained. “But I have also had a stake in major legislative accomplishments: budget agreements that prioritize our federal commitments, pro-growth trade and tax policy, initiatives to advance medical innovation and research, major infrastructure investments, and policies that secure our homeland.”
Dent was already in a primary election with state Rep. Justin Simmon, who attacked Dent as “an embarrassment to the Republican Party.”