Lawmakers are leaving Congress. Why would they stay?

None of this will stop now, or soon. There is no prospect for any “leadership” that will involve both parties, push back on violence and inspire kindness and unity over division. Congress has abandoned civility, is barely functioning, and now promotes venomous partisan attacks and fundraising prowess, not legislating or problem solving. Publicity — positive or negative — is paramount: Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn admitted to his colleagues in an email that he built his staff “around comms rather than legislation.” And while much of the degradation of the House started years ago, members in both parties are surprised by how badly things have escalated this year…

One member leaving next year who has received death threats from the far left and the far right predicted there will be more violence and that the culture will grow worse before it gets better. That member said there is no incentive for leaders to “stand up to extremists because it comes at a cost,” and therefore the rules for behavior and conduct are null. “No one follows them because no one is enforcing them.”

Even before the onset of these threats to lawmakers’ security, one long-serving member said 11 years without a pay raise has affected members who aren’t millionaires and sleep in their offices because their family budgets can’t support rent in Washington, D.C., in addition to their district residences. Then throw in a stunt like McCarthy’s eight-hour speech on a Thursday night several weeks ago that cost members another night with their families, the member said, and “it’s made the entire thing joyless.”