New York Democrat announces early departure from House, citing GOP dysfunction | ET REALITY

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Representative Brian Higgins, Democrat of New York, said Sunday that he would leave Congress in February.

Higgins, a Buffalo native who has spent 19 years in the House, said he would resign before the end of his term after a year in which “institutional norms have been compromised.”

“I think, unfortunately, this is the beginning of a bad trend, not the end,” he said.

Higgins, 64, said the chamber has fallen prey to chaos and dysfunction. She blames the growing influence of Republicans seeking public attention and viral moments through aggressive speeches and controversial legislative amendments.

“It’s all individuals who have weaponized the law-making process,” he said. “And this is where I think the current House leadership has failed miserably. “They are the poster child for dysfunction right now, as evidenced by their own inability to identify what they want and develop a strategy to achieve what they want.”

Under New York law, Gov. Kathy Hochul must call a special election next year to find a successor to Higgins.

In his tenth term in Congress, Higgins is a center-leaning member of the Ways and Means and Budget Committees. He plans to remain in office until the first week of February. His resignation will open a seat representing New York’s 26th Congressional District, a heavily Democratic region that includes Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

Dozens of sitting members of the Senate and House of Representatives have announced decisions not to seek re-election, and a growing number have said their departure will be a retirement from public office.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, announced last week that he would not seek another term.

Higgins said he was recently in the running to fill a position as president of Buffalo State University. Once his intentions to leave Washington became more known in his district, more opportunities began to materialize, as did plans to find his replacement.

“I feel lucky to have some options here,” he said.

In a social media post praising Mr Higgins after his announcement, Governor Hochul suggested who could have accepted a position to become president of Shea Performing Arts Center in Buffalo. But he said in an interview that no decision had been made.

Other tributes quickly began to arrive from state officials.

“Throughout his storied career, he has been an integral part of our region’s transformation,” state Sen. Sean M. Ryan said in a statement.

State Senator Timothy M. Kennedy said Higgins had changed “the way the nation views Buffalo,” revitalizing the city’s waterfront and securing federal investments in infrastructure.

The two state legislators, both Democrats from Western New York, are seen as possible candidates to seek Higgins’ House seat.

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