Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Rep. Jason Chaffetz won't seek reelection

Rep. Jason Chaffetz won't seek reelection

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, will not seek re-election in 2018, the congressman announced Wednesday, opting instead to work in the private sector.

He says that after more than 1,500 nights away from home, "it is time" to step aside.

Anticipating people's surprise, Chaffetz said in a Facebook post that "for those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives" and that his decision was the result of "long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration".

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Earlier this year, a raucous crowd turned out at a Chaffetz town hall meeting, many demanding that as chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee he investigate President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican.

Chaffetz hasn't only put his foot in his mouth when it comes to shirking his responsibility to investigate Trump.

Chaffetz dispelled those rumors in a statement Wednesday morning.

In a CNN interview in March, Chaffetz was asked how lower-income Americans would get access to health insurance if the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare", is repealed by congressional Republicans. "Maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love, and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care".

Chaffetz's district, a large swath of Utah southeast of Salt Lake City including Provo, voted 78 percent for Mitt Romney in 2012. He has long hinted at his plans to leave the House by 2020 and perhaps mount a gubernatorial bid, but the lawmaker faced recent speculation that he might run for Senate Pro Tem Orrin Hatch's (R-Utah) seat in 2018.

He stated that his mantra has always been, 'get in, serve, and get out, ' and that's what he was doing, though wouldn't take off the table a future political run.

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