Outgoing House lawmakers lament chaos in Congress: ‘A bit of a carnival’

House lawmakers who are choosing to retire at the end of this term are lamenting the chaos and division that has plagued the chamber for much of this year.

“My main reasons are personal,” said Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., who is leaving at the end of his current term. “I decided when I first [entered office] that I’d stay for a decade, and it’ll be 12 years when I leave. But it’s hard to deny that the…personal sacrifice we make being away from our families seems less easily justified when we come here and not only is it a bit of a carnival, but we’re really not doing any substantive legislating.”

This year saw the first time in history that a U.S. speaker of the House was forced out by their own members. The House GOP majority has seen deep divisions that have derailed House votes and seen normally sleepy procedural votes go down in flames. 

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Rep. Dan Kildee is leaving Congress at the end of the current term.

“I don’t mind division. I actually don’t mind a small majority. I think it’s good. But I have a problem that we’re not governing here,” Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., told Fox News Digital.

“We just do appeasement and drama and [are] not concerned with serious issues. So we have to figure out how we can better inform the American people to put pressure on this failed institution.”

Spartz left the door open to running for the House again in the future, but for now, said she was departing at the end of this term due to several factors.

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“I think it’s a combination of things, you know, it’s just being exhausted from what is happening here. You know, really, worrying about what’s happening with the country, spending more time with my kids and businesses,” she said.

Rep. Victoria Spartz

Rep. Victoria Spartz told Fox News Digital she would not rule out coming back to Congress in the future. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., has served in the House of Representatives since 1996, but he said earlier this year that the current term would be his last.

When asked if the chaos and divisions seen this year had anything to do with his decision, he said, “I think, in this circumstance, I can – on the things I care about most – I can have as much or more impact as a civilian.”

Blumenauer told Fox News Digital that this Congress began with obvious fractures within the majority party, and he did not see how those could be resolved.

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“It’s quite clear the way this Congress started, that there were deep, deep, irreconcilable divisions with my Republican colleagues,” he said. “And it doesn’t look like it’s getting any better.”

“It’s troubling, but you know, we’ll try our best this next year to help move some things.”

U.S. Capitol Building

One GOP lawmaker lamented the loss of experience from this Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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One GOP lawmaker who spoke with Fox News Digital said they anticipated more Republican exits after ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced his intention to leave at the end of this year on Wednesday. 

“We’re going to lose a lot of experience, you know, and what you get in return sometimes are not really good policymakers. So it’s a real challenge,” the lawmaker said.

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