Departing House GOP Members Don't Want to Go to Work Anymore

Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty)

If, as looks increasingly likely, the government does partially shut down this week, there’s a good chance that the stalemate between congressional Democrats and the White House over funding for President Trump’s “Boarder” wall will be only one of the reasons everyone packs up and heads home instead of keeping D.C. up and running. The other reason? According to the New York Times, it’s that Republican members are literally packing up and heading home.

Basically, after getting their asses stomped in November’s midterm election, and watching Trump graciously accept full responsibility for a potential shutdown, House Republicans are suffering from a severe case of dejected senioritis.

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Per the Times:

“No one has any idea what the play call is — we don’t know what’s going on,” said Representative Ryan A. Costello, Republican of Pennsylvania, who, because he is retiring, has already surrendered his office suite for a cramped cubicle.

“You don’t have an office,” he added. “You’re in wind-down mode, saying goodbye to people and wrapping up, and just putting your voting card in the machine and pressing red or green. It’s going through the motions.”

As the Times is quick to note, Costello is one of the guys who’s still hanging around. In “recent weeks,” they note, “anywhere from a handful to more than two dozen Republicans” have missed votes.

Given the sort of malaise that seems to have infected the House GOP, it seems like peacing the fuck out as Friday’s shutdown vote looms could very well play a role in kneecapping the Republicans who do end up staying in town and vote to keep things running. For House Republicans, the options are limited and pretty much all terrible: They can watch as the president from their own party eats a ton of shit for losing a budget fight while holding both chambers of Congress, suggest goofy-ass ideas like building the wall with CrYPtO, or just get out of town entirely.

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Honestly, who can blame them for wanting to leave and just forget the whole mess?

And of course, like most bad things these days, the GOP’s dwindling congressional caucus’ total disregard for doing its goddamn job seems to be inspired by—or at least parallels—Trump himself. The same day the government is set close up shop, Trump will be jetting to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida for a 16-day vacation. Sounds nice.

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About the author

Rafi Schwartz

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.