A 39-year-old GOP congressman who rejected his party's push to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas won't run for reelection: 'Congress is no place to grow old'

Mike Gallagher
Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin.JULIA NIKHINSON/AFP via Getty Images
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher said on Saturday that he wouldn't seek reelection.

  • Gallagher was one of just four House Republicans to vote against the impeachment of Mayorkas.

  • The congressman chaired the Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, which was formed last year.

Rep. Mike Gallagher, the 39-year-old Wisconsin lawmaker who has long been viewed as a rising GOP star, won't seek reelection days after he rejected his party's push to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Gallagher, a Marine Corps veteran and a major force in the House's efforts to push back against the Chinese government, made the announcement Saturday on X.

"When I first ran for Congress, I promised to treat my time in office as a high-intensity deployment," he said. "Through my bipartisan work on the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, chairing the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, and chairing the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, we've accomplished more on this deployment than I could have ever imagined."

"But the Framers intended citizens to serve in Congress for a season and then return to their private lives," he continued. "Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career and, trust me, Congress is no place to grow old."

Gallagher's decision to vote against the Mayorkas impeachment —which has long been a priority for House Republicans incensed over what they believe is the failure of the Biden administration to secure the US-Mexico border — was not mentioned in the statement.

But the vote only amplified the tenuous nature of the GOP's razor-thin House majority, in which even a few defections can spell defeat for major bills.

Earlier this month, the Mayorkas vote failed 214-216, with Gallagher and three other Republicans joining all House Democrats to reject the secretary's impeachment. (The GOP plans to bring up the vote again with the impending return of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana.)

Last June, Gallagher announced he wouldn't challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a major blow to the GOP in the competitive swing state.

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