A GOP House member is planning to resign from Congress, which will reduce an already-slim House Republican majority, according to a report Tuesday.
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), representing the state’s Second Congressional District, which covers nearly half the state and includes parts of Salt Lake City, will resign as early as this week, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
His resignation comes as his wife faces health issues, which are presently unclear, according to the Tribune.
Stewart’s resignation will bring the GOP’s majority in the House down by one vote to 221 members.
That number, just three ahead of the 218-vote threshold required to pass bills and resolutions, will likely make for difficulties for the House Republican leadership, which is currently trying to whip its conference into supporting the Fiscal Responsibility Act negotiated by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden, with several members currently opposing the bill.
Stewart, who has served six terms in Congress since 2012, was also reportedly considering a primary challenge to Utah’s Republican Senator, Mitt Romney, who has been heavily criticized by former President Donald Trump and his supporters in the party.
According to the Tribune, Stewart is unlikely to run for the Senate, which may prompt more contenders to run for what is considered a safe GOP seat, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index Score of R+13.
A primary and special election for Stewart’s seat can only be scheduled after he formally resigns and must be done by Utah’s Gov. Spencer Cox within seven days.
However, the general election will occur along with all other state general elections unless the legislature appropriates money for a separate election on a different day, according to the Tribune.
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