Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy announced Wednesday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that he is resigning from Congress and will be leaving the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of this year.
The California Republican, who has served in the House for 17 years, was ousted from the speakership in October 2023 after relying on Democrats to pass a stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown in late September.
“Today I am driven by the same purpose that I felt when I arrived in Congress,” McCarthy said in a video statement posted to X Wednesday. “But now, it is time to pursue my passion in a new arena.”
“While I’ll be departing the House at the end of this year, I will never, ever give up fighting for this country that I love so much,” he said.
“To all those who have supported me through the years, especially our constituents, thank you from the bottom of my heart. We did our part,” he added. “And when the stakes were the highest, we rose to the challenge. We were willing to risk it all, no matter the odds, no matter the personal cost — simply put, we did the right thing.”
McCarthy’s resignation brings the total number of members of Congress who will not seek re-election in 2024 to 38, and following Rep. George Santos’ (R-N.Y.) expulsion from Congress last Friday, an already thin Republican majority in the House is further narrowed going into 2024.