Cartoon by Mana Neyestani

US Congress: Republicans rush for the exits to imperil Trump's midterm hopes

The Guardian: Dozens of Republicans are rushing for the exits on Capitol Hill in an exodus which has dramatically raised Democratic hopes of shifting the balance of power in Washington DC.

Congressman Trey Gowdy, the Republican who made headlines with a crusade to investigate Hillary Clinton, announced his retirement on Wednesday, becoming the 38th Republican to announce they would be giving up their seat in Congress since Donald Trump’s inauguration last year.

Gowdy and other Republicans cheered the president on during his state of the union address, chanting “USA” and standing to applaud his agenda.

But many of the same lawmakers have said they’ve had enough of Washington and the chaos in the White House, gridlock at work and angry voters back home.

Midterm elections in November give Democrats a strong chance of winning the 24 seats they need to seize back the House and jeopardizing the president’s agenda.

Gowdy was the second senior Republican this week to announce his retirement, after New Jersey’s Rodney Frelinghuysen, a 12-term congressman. The pair both chaired powerful committees on oversight and the nation’s finances, and follow 23 other Republicans leaving the House to quit politics altogether.

A further 11 will step down in order to run for higher office in the Senate or as state governors and three more are leaving the Senate. In contrast, only 15 Democratic representatives and one senator are leaving Congress.

In January, Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican facing his own difficult re-election, accused two of his fellows of “running for the hills, making a very frightened assessment rather than a courageous assessment” >>>