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Another GOP Impeachment Vote to Leave

Rep. John Katko won't run again after supporting Jan. 6 panel, infrastructure bill
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2022 2:25 PM CST
GOP's Katko, Targeted by Trump, Retires
Republican Rep. John Katko speaks during a committee meeting in 2020.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool, File)

(Newser) – Rep. John Katko announced Friday that he won't seek reelection from his New York district, making him the third of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump to decide to go home. "My conscience, principles and commitment to do what's right have guided every decision I've made as a member of Congress, and they guide my decision today," Katko said in a statement. The four-term lawmaker from the Syracuse area also said he wants to "enjoy my family and life in a fuller and more present way," Politico reports. Katko is 59.

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In addition to his support for impeachment, Katko had angered House Republicans by voting for President Biden's infrastructure bill and trying to create a nonpartisan panel to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Trump, who welcomed the announcement Friday, had intervened in local politics to push the Conservative Party to put a candidate up against Katko in the GOP primary this year. The incumbent had won reelection last year by 20 percentage points, per the Auburn Citizen. The district is being redrawn, but as is, Democrats could do well in it, per the Hill; Biden beat Trump there by 9 points.

Katko listed the infrastructure bill's passage as an achievement, and referred to his record of "relentlessly championing bipartisanship." For last year, the Lugar Center and Georgetown University ranked him the second-most bipartisan member of Congress, and he twice received a national Chamber of Commerce award for bipartisanship. In 2015, Katko was one of three House Republicans to vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act. Of his impeachment vote, he told the Citizen he considered Trump's behavior after the election and at the rally, as well as his false claims about the vote. "All those things factored into it for me and it led me to the inescapable conclusion," Katko said, that he had to vote yes. (Read more House Republicans stories.)

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