Katherine Tully-McManus and Jordain Carney at Politico:

The number of lawmakers bowing out is on the high side this cycle, but it follows a 20-year trend of earlier exits.


That means the colleagues who remain in office have to keep working to rebuild the loss of institutional knowledge that inevitably results from House retirements. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the Rules Committee chair and unofficial dean of the House GOP, spoke for many fellow lawmakers: “This happens every time,” he said of the new round of retirements.


But of course, this time is a little different. After a 117th Congress that began with an armed insurrection at their workplace, this year House members wrestled with a 15-ballot speakership slog in January followed by the October ouster of McCarthy and the chaos that followed. So lawmakers might be excused for assuring themselves that high turnover is normal, even healthy, given the constant challenge of governing in the social media era.


McCarthy and McHenry are especially “hard to replace,” Cole said. Underscoring his point: Half of the current House GOP conference had never served in the majority until this year. Which makes it hard to draw on lessons from the past.