THE BIG IDEA: Exhausted from his ideological battles with the House Freedom Caucus and clashes with Donald Trump’s White House, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) has decided to retire.
“As a member of the governing wing of the Republican Party, I’ve worked to instill stability, certainty and predictability in Washington,” Dent said in a statement last night announcing that he will not seek an eighth term. “I’ve fought to fulfill the basic functions of government, like keeping the lights on and preventing default. Regrettably, that has not been easy given the disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder and chaos.”
Dent is the co-chairman of the moderate Tuesday Group, which has about 50 center-right members. That’s more than the three dozen or so guys in the Freedom Caucus, but the tea partyers punch above their weight because they mostly vote as a bloc.