Trump Brands GOP Lawmakers Quitting as Cowards

( – In a March 31 post on Truth Social, former President Donald Trump called Republican House members who are leaving their seats early “cowards.”

Trump’s post was in response to the early retirement announcements of Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher and Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, 65. Buck resigned on March 22 and will be replaced in a special election in June, while Gallagher will retire on April 19, leaving his seat open until next January. In the post, Trump included a link to Gallagher’s resignation announcement, adding that the Republican House members resigning early from their terms were “weaklings” and “such a disgrace.”

Trump’s post follows a plea from House Speaker and Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson for Gallagher to reconsider his early departure as Johnson noted that House Republicans now have the “second-smallest majority in history.” However, Gallagher, who announced in February that he would not seek re-election, stated he would not reconsider his decision.

The early exits of the latest two House members, combined with other openings in the House, means the Republicans only hold a one-seat majority, down from the 222-213 majority they had following the 2022 election when the Republicans regained control of the House. The one-seat majority means that in order to pass any legislation, the Republicans can only afford to lose one vote, making it even harder for Republicans to pass party-line votes.

The latest resignations have also led to speculation of Minority Leader and New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries potentially being named to the role of Speaker due to Republican criticism of Johnson.

Republicans hope to regain one of the seats back in the May 21 special election that will fill the seat occupied by former House Speaker and Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who resigned at the end of 2023. On June 11, a special election will be held to fill the seat occupied by Republican Ohio Rep. Bill Johnson, who stepped down on Jan. 21.

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