House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen becomes latest high-profile Republican to retire from Congress

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House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen on Monday announced plans to retire from Congress, becoming the latest high-profile Republican to opt against a competitive re-election effort.

“Today as I announce my retirement at the end of this session of Congress, I want to use the opportunity to strongly encourage the many young people I meet to consider public service,” the New Jersey lawmaker said in a statement obtained by Fox News.  “Public service is an incredible way to turn your convictions into something that serves the greater good and to do it alongside people from every walk of life and background.”

He joins a parade of committee chairs who are leaving at the end of the year.

They include: Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas; Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce of California; Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia; Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania; Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas; House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper of Mississippi and House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black of Tennessee. – READ MORE

The political network overseen by industrialist billionaires Charles and David Koch on Saturday pledged to spend nearly $400 million on the midterm elections to defend Republican majorities in Congress and in state legislatures across the country.

The Koch network, meeting for its annual winter donor conference near Palm Springs, Calif., said the investment would also focus on promoting conservative policies and was equal to a 60 percent increase over what it spent in the 2016 presidential election. The campaign was set to include a $20 million expenditure to promote the Republican tax overhaul passed and signed into law late last year.

“We’re all in,” Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, told reporters during a news conference to kick off the conference at the Renaissance Esmeralda Indian Wells Resort and Spa.

Phillips conceded that the political environment for Republicans is “challenging,” though he declined to pin the blame on President Trump and his low job approval ratings and instead credited the toxic atmosphere for the GOP to historical trends that have seen the party in control of the White House lose seats in most midterms. – READ MORE

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