House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz could resign from Congress before completing his term.
“My future plans are not yet finalized but I haven’t ruled out the possibility of leaving early,” Chaffetz said in a statement provided by his office Thursday. “In the meantime, I still have a job to do and I have no plans to take my foot off the gas.”
Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, announced Wednesday that he will not seek reelection in 2018, leading to speculation that he’s considering a gubernatorial run in 2020 and a potential White House bid down the line.
“After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Online and in subsequent radio and television interviews, Chaffetz, who sleeps in a cot in his office, cited his time away from his family as his rationale for retiring. He was first elected to the House in 2008.
“I’m in year nine of being in Congress and I’ve been away from my family for more than 1,500 nights,” he told Fox News in an interview Wednesday. “And it’s as simple as the fact that I love my wife and I adore my kids. You gotta reevaluate your life when you’re sleeping on a cot in your office and you just turned 50. You know, I preach that you wanna get in, serve and get out, and that’s what I’m doing.”
He told Fox he will not “run for any office in 2018,” adding, “My life will be complete if I’m not a United States senator.”
Congress is on the tail end of a two-week Easter recess. Lawmakers will have to pass a government funding bill to avoid a government shutdown their first week back, and the White House has signaled that it also wants another vote on legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“I enjoy the work. I like the issues that we’re tackling and the work that we do, but I happen to love my family more,” Chaffetz said Wednesday.
Rachael Bade contributed to this report.