As Democrats prepare for the possibility of losing their slim majority on Capitol Hill after next year’s midterm elections, a number of lawmakers in the party have recently announced their intention to step down from Congress.
The latest House Democrat to confirm such a plan was Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL).
“Incredibly challenging for my family and me”
Murphy, 43, currently sits on the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
Considering her relatively young age and the absence of any major scandal, she acknowledged that her decision might be a shock to some constituents.
She insisted that she was not afraid of losing her seat, though redistricting in the state is expected to make her district harder for Democrats to win. Instead, she said her career move was rooted in a desire to spend more time with her kids.
I’ve decided not to seek another term in Congress. Serving Central Florida has been the honor of my life, but it’s also been incredibly challenging for my family and me.
This was not an easy decision, but it is the right decision. Thank you for everything. pic.twitter.com/UaOufbPOSo
— Stephanie Murphy (@SMurphyCongress) December 20, 2021
“As a mom of two young children, my time away from them has been hard,” Murphy said. “So, I wanted to share with you that I will not be seeking another term as your representative in Congress. This was not an easy decision, but it was the right decision.”
“An unmitigated retirement crisis”
A centrist who defeated a longtime GOP incumbent in 2016, she became the first woman of Vietnamese descent to serve in Congress.
Thus far, she is the 22nd member of her party to announce that she will not seek re-election next year.
Adding further challenges to the party is the recent confirmation by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) that he would oppose President Joe Biden’s expensive Build Back Better spending plan.
If the party hopes to hold onto its House majority, Democratic candidates will have to defy historical trends and early polling data signaling crushing defeats across the U.S.
The National Republican Congressional Committee weighed in on Murphy’s announcement, writing that “between Build Back Better collapsing and an unmitigated retirement crisis, this is truly Democrats’ nightmare before Christmas.”