Republicans attempt to win the votes required to elect Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) as House speaker on Oct. 25.
Credit:  Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post

Despite all the congressional gridlock these days, lawmakers have succeeded in one surprising area of productivity: driving their colleagues into resignation.

On Friday, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) will resign outright, becoming the sixth member of the House in the 118th Congress to quit, with no other public office lined up. The onetime renegade conservative, who’s drifted ideologically away from his far-right friends, summed up the feelings of the quitters.

“This place just keeps going downhill, and I don’t need to spend my time here,” Buck told reporters.

The data for congressional resignations is somewhat murky, but it’s clear that over the last four decades, at least, the House hasn’t seen this many people just quit public service in the middle of their term.

It started last May when Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.) resigned after more than 12 years in office to lead the Rhode Island Foundation, and soon after Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) resigned to start a lobbying firm. Earlier this year Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) quit to go […]

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