GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Gun reform groups to pressure GOP senators with rallies in all 50 states To cash in on innovation, remove market barriers for advanced energy technologies MORE warned Wednesday that he could retire instead of running for reelection if Congress isn't able to pass bipartisan measures like a wide-ranging criminal justice bill.  

“I don’t run again until 2020, and if we’re not able to get things like this done, I don’t have any intention of coming back," the North Carolina Republican said during a juvenile justice forum, according to McClatchy. 
 
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Pressed after the forum if he was serious about his threat to retire, Tillis said, “I came here to get things done.”
 
Tillis joined the Senate in 2015 after defeating Democrat Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganTillis trails Democratic challenger by 7 points in North Carolina poll North Carolina businessman will challenge Tillis in GOP primary Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 MORE. Republicans are currently expected to defend nearly two dozen seats in the 2020 elections.
 
Tillis supported the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which would reduce minimum sentences for some non-violent drug offenders while increasing mandatory minimums in other areas. 
 
The bill passed out of the Judiciary Committee last year, leading supporters to speculate it could pass this year. But the measure isn't expected to pass before Congress leaves town in mid-December after it was stalled amid infighting among Republicans. 
  
“It is time to tell the far-left and the far-right to get productive or get out of the way because we need to solve this problem," Tillis said at the forum.