U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher, a prominent Republican known for his stance on countering China, declared on Saturday that he will not pursue re-election for a fifth term.
This decision comes shortly after his refusal to support the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a move that drew ire from fellow Republicans.
Refusal to Impeach Mayorkas
Gallagher’s decision not to support the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has sparked controversy within the GOP.
Despite pressure from his party, Gallagher stood firm in his opposition to the impeachment, which ultimately failed by just one vote.
Record Numbers at the Southern Border
The issue of immigration, particularly the surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, has been a focal point for Republicans.
Gallagher’s stance on the border crisis and his refusal to support Mayorkas’ impeachment have intensified discussions within the GOP regarding his political future.
Gallagher’s Wall Street Journal Op-Ed
Following the impeachment vote, Gallagher penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, expressing his rationale for opposing Mayorkas’ impeachment.
He argued that impeachment would not address the root causes of immigration and could set a precedent detrimental to future Republican administrations.
Wisconsin Republicans Weigh Primary Challenge
In the wake of the impeachment vote, Wisconsin Republicans began considering whether Gallagher should face a primary challenger in the upcoming elections.
The controversy surrounding Gallagher’s stance has raised questions about his political viability within the GOP.
Announcement of Retirement
Gallagher announced his decision not to seek re-election in a statement, citing a desire to adhere to the principles set forth by the Framers of the Constitution.
He emphasized that electoral politics was never intended to be a lifelong career and expressed a wish to return to private life.
Backlash Over Impeachment
Despite speculation, Gallagher stated that the backlash over his impeachment vote did not influence his decision to retire from Congress.
He expressed confidence that constituents understood his position, even if they did not agree with it entirely.
Focus on Countering China
Throughout his tenure, Gallagher has been a vocal advocate for countering China’s influence.
He led a House committee dedicated to this cause, framing the competition between the U.S. and China as an existential struggle for the future.
Tensions with China
Relations between the U.S. and China have been tense, with both countries enacting tariffs and engaging in diplomatic disputes.
Gallagher’s committee aimed to address these challenges and prevent the Chinese government from gaining undue influence.
Abandoning Senate Run
Previously, Gallagher had considered a run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin.
However, he decided to forgo this opportunity in favor of focusing on his efforts to counter China through the House committee.
Legacy of Service
As a former Marine and representative of northeastern Wisconsin since 2017, Gallagher leaves behind a legacy of service.
His commitment to addressing pressing issues such as immigration and U.S.-China relations has left a lasting impact on the political landscape.