Key US Lawmaker May End His House Term Early

Nick Mcbride
April 21, 2017

'In the meantime I still have a job to do and I have no plans to take my foot off the gas'.

Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who unsuccessfully ran for House speaker in 2015, chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and played a visible role in investigations related to Planned Parenthood and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Chaffetz said he has "no ulterior motives" is healthy and confident he would re-elected. Chaffetz's panel is investigating payments made to Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, for speaking engagements in Russian Federation and the security protocols at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

Chaffetz, the House Oversight Committee Chairman, did not close the door to another run for public office in his Facebook statement Wednesday.

He has faced pressure from protesters in his home district and federal watchdogs for not pursuing investigations into the Trump administration more forcefully.

Many of Utah's state lawmakers were on a bus early Wednesday on a two-day legislative visit to rural Utah when the news broke that Chaffetz wasn't going to run for a sixth term in 2018.

While some have speculated that President Donald Trump is the one that ate Rep. Jason Chaffetz's (R-UT) career, Amber Phillips at the Washington Post reports it might actually be his ego that took the hit.

The 50-year-old Chaffetz had strolled to four easy re-elections in his Republican-friendly congressional district. At a town hall in February, Chaffetz was essentially booed for an hour straight, and a new billboard in his hometown of Provo questions the congressman's reluctance to investigate Russia's meddling in USA elections. "That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector".

The Utah Republican, who's been in Congress since 2009, confirmed the decision on Facebook.

National Democrats already are interested in the race, helping to fill the campaign coffers of Kathryn Allen, a Cottonwood Heights doctor who attracted the attention of Rosie O'Donnell for criticizing Chaffetz online.

"Chairman Chaffetz' behavior has always been beneath the dignity of the office he holds and he should step down as Chairman of the Oversight Committee immediately", said Tyler Law, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman.

It's unclear whether Democrats will contest this district in 2018.

He didn't rule out a run for Utah governor in 2020.

Other reports by VgToday

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