GOP congressman who once complained his $174,000 a year salary was too low decides to quit


The Republican congressman who rose to fame as a reality TV show star is stepping down in September.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) announced on Monday he is quitting the House of Representatives. Duffy's announcement makes him the 12th Republican in the House to announce retirement since the 2018 midterm election.

"Recently, we’ve learned that our baby, due in late October, will need even more love, time, and attention due to complications, including a heart condition," Duffy wrote on Facebook, who has eight children and, he noted, spends four days a week away from them to be in Washington.

"On September 23, I will step down and allow others to step forward to begin laying out their own vision and plans for leading this beautiful district," he added.

Republicans have recently expressed concerns that the sheer numbers of members quitting the House will hurt efforts to take back control of the body from Democrats.

Duffy first came to national prominence as a member of the cast of the MTV reality show "The Real World." He also appeared on the program "Road Rules."

His wife and fellow "Real World" alumnus Rachel Campos-Duffy is a conservative commentator and Fox News contributor. Recently, she claimed in a joint appearance with her husband that implementing Medicare for All would make health care worse and lead to more mass shootings.

The congressman has been a staunch Trump supporter and ally, who in June expressed unwavering support for Trump despite the evidence of obstruction of justice that was detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

"There was no obstruction," Duffy told MSNBC, in spite of the report.

Duffy has voted with Trump 93.3% of the time over the last two years.

In April, Duffy posted a video online to help bolster Trump's failing attempt to build a southern border wall. In the video, which Duffy labeled as "MUST WATCH," he claimed that border crossings are easy and pointed at a river he had been told was simple to cross.

Just a few months later, a father and daughter drowned in the Rio Grande after Trump's lockdown of asylum policies forced them to try the dangerous water-based crossing.

Duffy also used his congressional tenure to  complain (alongside other Republicans) that his $174,000 congressional salary needed to be increased.

After a constituent told him at a 2011 town meeting that Duffy makes "three times what I make," Duffy responded by lamenting, "I drive a used minivan" and that he was struggling to be able to pay his bills.

In July, Duffy was one of 192 Republicans to vote against raising the minimum wage.

Duffy was rebuked in March during a congressional hearing by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) after he tried to portray concerns about climate change as "elitist."

"You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the South Bronx, which is suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country," Ocasio-Cortez told him.

Duffy joined Congress after the tea party-infused election of 2010 that installed a Republican majority. Nine years later, he's leaving public office — though he's likely to still keep appearing on Fox News.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.