GOP congressman quits just 2 weeks after being sworn into the minority


Republican Tom Marino quit right after Democrats reclaimed the majority in the House of Representatives.

Four-term Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) announced he will leave Congress to take a job in the private sector just two weeks after Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the gavel back for Democrats.

"As of January 23, 2019, I am officially stepping down from Congress," Marino said in a statement. He said he is going into the private sector, but did not say who he will be working for.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesperson Jared Smith linked Marino's retirement to his new role in the minority party of the House.

"It's no surprise that on the same day that House Republicans voted against ending the Trump Shutdown for the ninth time, one of their members has decided he's had enough," Smith said. "While we certainly didn't expect the first Republican retirement to happen just two weeks after they were sworn into the minority, Tom Marino is just the tip of the iceberg."

Marino's announcement comes exactly two weeks to the day after Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reclaimed her rightful position as Speaker of the House and ushered in a new House Democratic majority. Rather than fulfill the commitment he made to the people of Pennsylvania to serve as their member of Congress in the new Republican minority, Marino decided to quit and go home.

Marino is not even the first Republican to flee Congress after the 2018 wipeout. In the Senate, both Sens. Pat Roberts of Kansas and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee announced they will not be running in 2020.

Marino's soon-to-be former district is solidly red-leaning. Trump won it in 2016 by 33 points, and Marino won re-election in 2018 by a 66-34 margin.

Marino entered Congress in the tea party-fueled election of 2010. Until two weeks ago, Marino only served as part of a majority in Congress, as Republicans desperately sought policies to undermine the health and economic prosperity of most Americans.

He joined the repeated failed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. He was part of the GOP effort to implement a new health care law which would have caused 23 million people to lose access to health insurance and would have removed protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

With Marino's exit, Trump loses one of his most loyal foot soldiers in Congress. Marino voted with Trump almost 98 percent of the time, clearly unwilling to stand up to any of Trump's whims.

But after voters from coast to coast rejected the policies of Trump and his congressional lackeys, Marino is no longer interested in fulfilling his duties.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.