GOP Senator Announces Retirement, Increasing Odds of Donald Trump Impeachment Conviction
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced on Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2022 because of the non-stop partisan impasses that have brought legislative progress to a crawl.
Portman said in a statement that although serving the people of Ohio “has been an honor,” he has “been doing this a long time, longer than I ever intended.”
Portman is “looking forward to being home in Ohio full time, seeing family and friends more, and getting back to the private sector, including being able to be more involved in the community and in our family business,” he said. “And I plan to stay involved in public policy issues.”
The biggest factor in his decision, Portman noted, is the extreme polarization of American politics that has made governing exceptionally difficult:
We live in an increasingly polarized country where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground. This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades.
This is a tough time to be in public service. For many of the issues I am most passionate about, I will continue to make a difference outside of the Senate, beyond 2022. In the meantime, I am hopeful that President Biden will follow through on his inaugural pledge to reach across the aisle, and I am prepared to work with him and his administration if he does. I was on the bipartisan call yesterday on a new COVID-19 package. I hope the Administration will work with us on a more targeted approach that focuses on things like vaccine distribution, testing, and getting kids back to school.
Now, with no future primaries to potentially lose within a Republican Party that has surrendered its soul to former President Donald Trump, Portman has become a possible vote to convict Trump in his imminent Senate impeachment trial.
The Constitution requires a two-thirds Senate majority to convict Trump, who faces a single count of inciting an insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6th.
Portman has not indicated which way he will vote, however, the Senator has pledged to consider the merits of the case and does not intend to give Trump a free pass.
“I’m a juror, it’s going to happen. As a juror, I’m going to listen to both sides. That’s my job,” Portman said, adding, “I don’t excuse anything President Trump did on Jan. 6 or in the runup to it.”