#NeverTrump Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz is giving up his House seat and thus surrendering his chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Chaffetz, a top Paul Ryan deputy, strongly opposed Donald Trump during the election, supposedly on behalf of his Mormon constituents who were offended by Trump’s “Access Hollywood” tape scandal. But Chaffetz showed his true political colors since Trump took office. Chaffetz has been banging the drum on the unsubstantiated theories that the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians, and has been providing no air cover for Trump during the surveillance scandals.
Trump supporters are glad to see Chaffetz gone. An opportunist who tried to become House Speaker himself before Ryan stepped in, Chaffetz let down the president and the entire Republican base — not to mention the legacy of his hardnosed predecessor, Darrell Issa.
“Representative Jason Chaffetz, the powerful chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told supporters on Wednesday that he would not seek re-election to Congress — or for any office — in 2018…
…More than 18 months out from the election in the heavily Republican district, there were already possible signs of a challenging race in Mr. Chaffetz’s future. Kathryn Allen, a physician and political newcomer running as a Democrat, has already raised nearly $400,000 more than Mr. Chaffetz this year, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Sunday — most of it from donors outside of Utah. And Mr. Chaffetz had also acquired a primary challenger: Damian W. Kidd, a lawyer and another newcomer who accused the congressman of caring more about himself than his district.
Last year, Mr. Chaffetz publicly weighed the possibility of running for governor of Utah in 2020, when his committee chairmanship would be set to expire.
Even with his announcement, Mr. Chaffetz left open the possibility of his return.
“I may run again for public office,” he added, “but not in 2018.”
Mr. Ryan on Wednesday praised Mr. Chaffetz as “a great defender of liberty and limited government.”
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House Republicans Hoping to Get Americans Back to Work By End of April
It’s a aspiration, not a plan.
House Republicans are considering plans that would help Americans get back to work by the end of the month. Kevin Brady of Texas told reporters on a conference call that the caucus is preparing preliminary plans that phase the workforce back in at the end of April.
“Our focus is on locking down the virus while we’re taking the steps now to prepare to reopen the economy by the end of the month if the virus permits.”
Brady was careful to qualify that there’s no guarantee the public health situation in the United States would allow such a development.
“I think we should all expect the jobs, the unemployment in the GDP numbers to feel brutal over the short term. It’s because they are. This economy is taking hits like we’ve not seen in most of our lifetimes. But it is just a short-term hit.”
Initial social distancing guidelines set forth by the White House in conjunction with the CDC were extended from two weeks to April 30th earlier in the week, suggesting the executive branch may be cautiously looking towards the end of April to begin phasing out the unprecedented disruptions to everyday American life.
It is worth noting that an early cease to social distancing and commonsense measures to deter the spread of the Chinese coronavirus could prove to be even more harmful than the negative impacts to the economy since the beginning of the virus-related recession. This can’t be rushed. But the consequences of the economic damage are real, and all Americans should look to get everyday economic life up and running against as soon as possible.
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