“My conscience, principles, and commitment to do what’s right have guided every decision I’ve made as a Member of Congress, and they guide my decision today,” Katko wrote in a Facebook post, adding that he plans to “enjoy my family and life in a fuller and more present way.”
A four-term congressman, Katko was one of a handful of House Republicans to cross party lines for notable votes over the past year, including voting in favor of President Joe Biden’s $550 billion infrastructure bill and to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., from her committee assignments for incendiary comments.
Katko, the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, reached a compromise deal last year with the panel’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., for an equally-split bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The deal was tanked after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who had reportedly tasked Katko with coming up with the compromise plan, urged members to vote against it.
Katko was also one of just 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of impeaching Trump last year for inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6. He’s the third to announce he’s not running again, joining Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.
Katko did not endorse Trump in 2016, but did in 2020, while telling constituents in his battlefield district he liked Trump’s policies but not his personality.
“Of course, Trump is a knucklehead,” Katko said at a campaign forum in October of 2020. “And of course, I mean, I don’t like him as a person. I don’t like his rhetoric. I don’t like his lack of discipline. I’m more concerned about your pocketbook. I’m more concerned about your economic opportunity. And I’m more concerned about where we are going as a country.”
Trump celebrated Katko’s announcement in a statement, saying, “Great news, another one bites the dust.”