Patrick McHenry, Who Served As Temporary Speaker, Plans To Retire From House
Speaker pro tempore Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., conducts the speaker of the House vote in the U.S. Capitol before Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., was elected Speaker on Wednesday, October 25, 2023.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who served as temporary House speaker during a leadership fight this fall, announced on Tuesday that he will not seek-election in 2024.

“I will be retiring from Congress at the end of my current term. This is not a decision I come to lightly, but I believe there is a season for everything and — for me — this season has come to an end,” McHenry said in a statement.

A lawmaker with a penchant for bowties, McHenry has served in the House since 2005. He worked his way up the ranks and became the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Seen as a close ally to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), McHenry helped steer debt ceiling talks earlier this year.

After the House voted to boot McCarthy from the speakership in early October, McHenry was picked to take on the role of speaker pro tempore.

During the few weeks it took for the chamber to settle on Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) to replace McCarthy, members considered but ultimately rejected empowering McHenry to do more than simply preside over debate and votes for a full-time speaker. But McHenry did order former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to vacate their hideaway U.S. Capitol offices.


McHenry is now one of more than a couple dozen House members who have announced that they will not seek another two-year term in new year’s elections. Another lawmaker who is considering an exit from the House is McCarthy.

In his statement on Tuesday, McHenry thanked his staff, constituents, and family for their support. He also expressed pride in his work as a congressman and voiced optimism when speaking about the future of the House.

“There has been a great deal of handwringing and ink spilled about the future of this institution because some — like me — have decided to leave. Those concerns are exaggerated,” McHenry said.

“I’ve seen a lot of change over twenty years,” he added. “I truly feel this institution is on the verge of the next great turn. Whether it’s 1974, 1994, or 2010, we’ve seen the House evolve over time. Evolutions are often lumpy and disjointed, but at each stage, new leaders emerge. There are many smart and capable members who remain, and others are on their way. I’m confident the House is in good hands.”

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