NPR

8 Congressional Chairmen Are Calling It Quits. Here's Why And What It Could Mean

In past generations, committee chairs were masters of the agenda, ruling based on their seniority and longevity. They kept their grip on the gavels until they, or the Almighty, decided otherwise.
Newt Gingrich, then speaker of the House in 1994, holds up a copy of the Republican Party's "Contract with America." Source: Joshua Roberts

Capitol Hill Republicans are nervous about November. The margins of their majority are dwindling in both chambers. It's looking like a good year to run as a Democrat, and President Trump isn't helping with his weak polls and potent controversies.

But at least one of the woes afflicting the current majority on the House side has its roots in the politics of a generation ago. And its power to shape elections even now testifies to the enduring legacy of a leader who left the halls of power long ago — Newt Gingrich.

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