Democrat Rep. John Yarmuth from Kentucky has announced that he will not run for re-election in 2022, a move that could enable the GOP to pick up his seat.
Rep. Yarmuth gives the standard reasons for wanting to retire, such as a desire to spend more time with his family. However, it’s become abundantly clear in recent years that politicians on both sides of the aisle have a tendency to quit rather than run for re-election when they are set to lose. Rep. Yarmuth is no exception. He faces not only difficulties convincing a highly skeptical electorate, but also redistricting in a state controlled by a GOP legislature.
Members of Rep. Yarmuth’s party have only kind words to share about his time on Capitol Hill. Many have praised him for “fighting for the people” and helping to make his district a better place. However, there are many who aren’t happy with the way the Congressman has used his influence.
For many, this includes the American Rescue Plan. Once signed, the law injected nearly $2 trillion dollars into the economy — contributing to the skyrocketing inflation levels Americans are struggling with today. What’s more, his close working relationship with Democrat House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi would almost certainly drag him down. Rep. Pelosi has thrown moderates under the bus by refusing to bring up the bipartisan infrastructure bill for a vote.
Indeed, rather than representing ordinary Kentuckians, it appears that Rep. Yarmuth has eagerly embraced his party’s leftward tilt. He is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and signed onto a “Medicare for All” bill in 2018.
While Rep. Yarmuth has represented his district for the last sixteen years, and state Democrats seem confident they can keep the seat, the odds of a Republican swooping in are high. President Biden’s approval rating stands at less than 40 percent. Inflation is running rampant. Even a member of the president’s own cabinet concedes that supply chain disruptions and shortages are set to last for years. COVID-19 restrictions remain in place throughout Democrat-controlled areas, as do labor shortages, partisan bickering, and a host of other problems.
In short, it’s not hard to see why Rep. Yarmuth is eager to leave.