Former President Donald Trump celebrated an announcement by Representative Fred Upton regarding his retirement from Congress, marking the fourth departure of House Republicans who voted to impeach him over the Capitol riot.
“Even the best stories have a last chapter,” said Upton, speaking on the House floor Tuesday morning. “This is it for me.”
The Michigan Republican has served in Congress for nearly four decades, having worked for the Reagan administration before winning a seat in Congress in 1986.
The Detroit Free Press indicates that redistricting was forcing Upton to face Representative Bill Huizenga in the same district. Trump endorsed Huizenga in a statement last month.
Upton’s public service, at least for now, will conclude at the end of the year.
Fred Upton’s retirement makes him the fourth Republican of ten who voted in favor of impeaching President Trump for his alleged role in inciting a riot at the Capitol on January 6 to leave rather than face another election.
“Enough is enough,” Upton declared at the time. “The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any President to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next.”
He later sided with Democrats again in voting to form a select committee to investigate the riot and was one of nine House Republicans who voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.
In 2019, he was one of only four Republicans who supported a motion to condemn Trump after he told Squad members to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”
Trump issued a statement celebrating Fred Upton’s retirement.
“UPTON QUITS! 4 down and 6 to go,” he wrote. “Others losing badly, who’s next?”
Trump’s dream of eliminating each of the 10 Republicans who, like Fred Upton, voted to impeach him, may not be all that unattainable.
Three others, as we mentioned, have also announced they are leaving Congress – including Representatives Anthony Gonzalez (OH), Adam Kinzinger (IL), and John Katko (NY).
Kinzinger’s departure came in part due to Democrats in Illinois unveiling a new congressional map that significantly impacted his chances of winning in 2022 – even after he allowed the party to use him to foment anti-Trump sentiments on the committee and to their voters.
As for the other six Republicans to vote for impeachment? They are all facing stiff primary challenges with many of those challengers earning a key endorsement from President Trump.
The Hill reports that “it’s possible that none of the 10 GOP ‘yes’ votes for Trump’s impeachment will be back in Congress in 2023.”
The potential purge of anti-Trump Republicans has, they write, created “a House GOP that is increasingly in lockstep with the former president.”
Upton also drew the ire of Trump supporters when he became one of 13 Republicans who helped pass President Biden’s $1.2 trillion ‘infrastructure’ bill back in November.
The 13 GOP members snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and helped Biden get a political win when the infrastructure legislation was clearly on the ropes.
Trump slammed the group, calling them ‘RINOs.’
“Very sad that the RINOs in the House and Senate Gave Biden and Democrats a victory on the ‘Non-Infrastructure’ Bill, where only 11% of the money being wasted goes to real infrastructure,” he said. “They just don’t get it!”
Upton clearly gets that he didn’t stand much of a chance against the Trump-backed candidate and opted to tuck tale and retreat instead.
“Private polling showed him getting clobbered by Huizenga,” Bill Ballenger, editor of the Ballenger Report on Michigan politics, told Newsmax.
The outlet reported that sources in Michigan indicate Upton “opted for retirement rather than face what he himself concluded was certain defeat.”
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