Florida GOP Rep. Rooney says he won't seek reelection

Republican Rep. Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyBipartisan Senate climate caucus grows by six members House Democrat: Taylor's impeachment testimony made 'very clear' there was a quid pro quo New bipartisan Senate climate caucus aims to take 'politics' out of the topic MORE (Fla.), who this week refused to rule out impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE, announced Saturday that he won't seek reelection.

Rooney revealed his decision in a Fox News interview. A spokesman for Rooney confirmed to The Hill that the lawmaker won't run for a third term.

"I don't think I really do, and I don't think I really want one," Rooney, 65, said in the interview when asked if he needed a third term.

Rooney's district is not considered a swing district, as it was won by President Trump with nearly 60 percent of the vote in 2016. 

Rooney said he came to Congress to secure money for Everglades projects and for an offshore drilling ban to protect Florida. He concluded he'd met those objectives in his two terms in Congress.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I thought it might take three terms, but I think I've done it in less than two. We've gotten over 10 times as much money per year for the Everglades," he said.

Asked if he should be added to a list of Republicans not seeking reelection in 2020, Rooney said yes while also expressing support for congressional term limits.

“I’ve done what I came to do,” he said. “I want to be a model for term limits.”

Rooney joins 18 other House Republican lawmakers who have announced their retirement ahead of the 2020 elections.

The Florida Republican has been vocal this week about Trump's dealings with Ukraine following acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneySondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report Schiff knocks Mulvaney over failure to testify in impeachment probe Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms MORE's remarks about a quid pro quo.

Rooney told reporters that Mulvaney's admission tying aid to Ukraine with a requested probe related to the 2016 election was alarming and could not be retracted.

"This isn't an Etch A Sketch. You cannot go revise what you say in front of the cameras and say, 'Oh actually, I meant the opposite,'" the GOP lawmaker said Friday.

During a separate interview with The Associated Press on whether Trump's conduct was impeachable, Rooney said, "I'm still thinking about it."

Asked on Fox why others are not speaking out like he did, Rooney said that the job of being a lawmaker is "so stacked against taking risks."

"It's so dependent on the quest for reelection and raising money and not wanting to offend anybody," he added. "It's not, I don't think, what the founders had in mind when they risked their fortunes to start our country."

Rooney has defied Trump to vote with Democrats before.

In July, he voted for an amendment to prevent the Trump administration from funding military action against Iran without the approval of Congress. He also voted earlier this year to overturn the president's emergency declaration