U.S. Rep Justin Amash of Michigan is quitting the GOP.
The only Republican in Congress to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, Amash said in an op-ed published in the Washington Post Thursday – July 4th – that he was declaring his independence from the Republican Party because the two-party system is failing.
“Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party,” Amash wrote. “No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system – and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.”
Amash in May joined Democratic colleagues in calling for Trump’s impeachment after special counsel Robert Mueller released a report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegations that the president tried to obstruct the probe. Amash also criticized fellow Republicans for not holding Trump accountable.
“The parties value winning for its own sake, and at whatever cost,” he wrote Thursday. “Instead of acting as an independent branch of government and serving as a check on the executive branch, congressional leaders of both parties expect the House and Senate to act in obedience or opposition to the president and their colleagues on a partisan basis.”
He said the hyper-partisanship has corrupted Washington and that party loyalty now is more important than preserving liberty and doing what’s best for the country.
“True to Washington’s fears, Americans have allowed government officials, under assertions of expediency and party unity, to ignore the most basic tenets of our constitutional order: separation of powers, federalism and the rule of law,” the self-described libertarian said. “The result has been the consolidation of political power and the near disintegration of representative democracy.”
On Twitter, Amash posted a link to the op-ed and said, “Today, I’m declaring my independence.”
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Photo “Justin Amash” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.