GOP House Majority Narrows as Yet Another Lawmaker Exits Early

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) announced on Friday that he plans to resign from his congressional seat early, further narrowing Republicans’ already slim majority in the House.

The announcement that he’s leaving his House seat on April 19 comes little over a month after Gallagher said he would not be seeking re-election.

“Four terms serving Northeast Wisconsin in Congress has been the honor of a lifetime and strengthened my conviction that America is the greatest country in the history of the world,” he said in a statement posted to X.

As Gallagher plans to leave after April 2, his seat will remain open until the 2024 elections in November. His early departure means that Republicans’ majority in the House will shrink to 217 seats to Democrats’ 213, a one-vote margin, as a bill would fail if more than one Republican defected to the other side.

Forbes has reported that Gallagher plans to take a position with defense contractor Palantir, according to multiple sources. The massive data analytics company stands to profit from a breakdown in U.S. relations with China, as the U.S. government supplies it with contracts for AI work. Palantir is headed by Peter Thiel, who is long-known for touting anti-China rhetoric.

As a chair on the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, Gallagher was one of the lawmakers who introduced a bill that would ban TikTok in the U.S. if the company does not part ways with its owner, ByteDance, which is based in China. “It is not a ban, think of this as a surgery designed to remove the tumor and thereby save the patient in the process,” Gallagher said of the bill.

In his statement Tuesday, Gallagher wrote that he’d “worked closely with House Republican leadership on this timeline and look forward to seeing Speaker Johnson appoint a new chair to carry out the important mission of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.”

Gallagher garnered some heat from his fellow Republicans last month when he opposed the removal of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. He warned his colleagues that voting to oust Mayorkas would allow Republican secretaries to be more easily removed in the future.

GOP political operative Alex Bruesewitz, an ally of Donald Trump, told The Daily Beast that Gallagher couldn’t be trusted, and said he was planning an exploratory committee to primary him.

In February, Gallagher announced his decision not to run again in a statement on X.

“The Framers intended citizens to serve in Congress for a season and then return to their private lives,” he wrote. “Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career and, trust me, Congress is no place to grow old.”

Last week, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) announced his early resignation from his congressional seat.

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