California Rep. Darrell Issa to retire after the end of his term


California Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican who investigated some of the biggest scandals of the Obama presidency, is retiring from Congress at the end of this term, he announced Wednesday.

“Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve,” Issa said in a statement. “Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California’s 49th District.”

Issa, 64, served as chairman of House Oversight Committee from 2011 to 2015, where he led hearings into the IRS scandal, the attack in Benghazi and the Fast and Furious operation. In that role, he famously tangled with Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the panel, and former IRS official Lois Lerner and was a familiar presence on television.

Issa tweeted that serving in Congress “has been the privilege of a lifetime.”

A former businessman, Issa was first elected to Congress in 2001. But he was facing an uphill battle in his re-election after defeating his Democratic challenger by less than a percentage point in 2016. Democrats are eyeing the seat as a potential pickup opportunity in the midterm elections later this year.

Republican Congressman Darrell Issa holds a town hall style meeting with constituents of California's 49th district in San Juan Capistrano, California, U.S., June 3, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake - RC114C5F1DF0

“I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California’s 49th District,” California Rep. Darrell Issa said Wednesday.  (Reuters)

Issa is the 30th Republican to retire from Congress this cycle.

His retirement follows a slew of other well-known Republican lawmakers stepping down for Congress, with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce announcing his retirement earlier this week.

Other Republicans who aren’t running for re-election include Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee; Texas Rep. Joe  Barton, the former chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce committee; Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at Follow him on Twitter at @AlexPappas.