Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.) on Tuesday announced he will retire from Congress at the end of the year, becoming the latest House Republican who voted to impeach President Trump for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol to head for the exits.
Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) and John Katko (N.Y.) have similarly opted against running for reelection this year.
The other six Republicans who backed Trump’s second impeachment are all facing primary challengers — meaning it’s possible that none of the 10 GOP “yes” votes for Trump’s impeachment will be back in Congress in 2023.
It’s all creating a House GOP that is increasingly in lockstep with the former president, who has been flirting with another White House run in 2024.
Trump celebrated Upton’s decision, declaring that the other “yes” votes on impeachment will eventually be turned out.
“UPTON QUITS! 4 down and 6 to go. Others losing badly, who’s next?” he said in a statement.
House GOP leaders praised Upton and sidestepped the suggestion that his decision to forgo reelection had to do with Trump.
“This was a decision he had to make looking at the dynamics of a member-on-member race,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said during a press conference. “He’s had a long career, distinguished, he talked about things like 21st Century Cures, a bill I think that for generations to come will help cure more diseases.”
Upton helped spearhead the 21st Century Cures Act, a 2016 law signed by former President Obama at the end of his term, aimed to accelerate medical innovation and advances.
Upton’s support for Trump’s impeachment last year wasn’t the only vote that drew ire from Trump, his supporters or the far right.
Upton received death threats in the fall for being one of the 13 House Republicans who helped hand President Biden a legislative victory by voting for the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
The increasing ostracization from his own party marked a sharp turnaround from less than a decade ago, when Upton served as chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee while Republicans last held the chamber’s majority.