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Green calls Congress ‘broken,’ won’t seek fourth term

As House Homeland Security chairman, Tennessee Republican led effort to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas

House Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green will not seek reelection in November.
House Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green will not seek reelection in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tennessee Rep. Mark E. Green, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will retire at the end of his term, becoming the fifth committee chair to not seek reelection this year.

Green’s announcement comes the day after the House voted, 214-213, to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, culminating an effort that Green led over several months. A similar vote last week fell short of adoption.

“At the start of the 118th Congress, I promised my constituents to pass legislation to secure our borders and to hold Secretary Mayorkas accountable,” Green said in a statement. “Today, with the House having passed H.R. 2 and Secretary Mayorkas impeached, it is time for me to return home.”

HR 2 is a security bill the House passed in May with only Republican votes and sent to the Senate, where it has not been considered. Among other things, it would resume construction of a wall along the Mexico border and tighten standards for allowing people seeking asylum into the country.

Green, a three-term Republican, said he would continue to serve the country “in a new capacity” after retiring.

“Our country — and our Congress — is broken beyond most means of repair. I have come to realize our fight is not here within Washington, our fight is with Washington,” he added. 

Green becomes the 15th House Republican to announce they’ll retire and not seek another office and the 25th member of either party who won’t be on the ballot this year. Fellow committee chairs Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Kay Granger and Patrick T. McHenry are also retiring and leaving spots open atop the Energy and Commerce, Appropriations and Financial Services panels, respectively. Rep. Mike Gallagher, who chairs the select China committee, which the House established last year, is also retiring. 

First elected in 2018, Green, 59, is a former Army doctor who deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, including on a mission that led to the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. After retiring from the Army, he worked as an emergency room doctor and founded AlignMD, an emergency room staffing company. 

A former state senator, Green was chosen by President Donald Trump to be secretary of the Army in 2017, but he later withdrew from consideration after advocacy groups criticized some of his past comments about Islam and the LGBTQ community. He then ran for the House, won and was easily reelected twice more. 

Green’s 7th District backed Trump over Joe Biden by 15 points in 2020, and the race for his seat is rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

The filing deadline for the Aug. 1 primary is April 4. Green had $433,000 in his campaign account on Dec. 31. Democrat Megan Barry, a former Nashville mayor who launched her campaign on Dec. 6, reported $158,000 on hand as of Dec. 31.

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