New York Representative Brian Higgins plans to leave Congress at the end of February 2021 amidst serving three consecutive successful terms. This news comes as a surprise to many who viewed Higgins as a dedicated public servant.
In a statement released this week, Higgins made the announcement official, citing a wish to spend more time with his family and to pursue new opportunities. His departure from congressional service also comes at a time of national turbulence – making Higgins’ announcement all the more impactful.
Since joining Congress in 2005, Congressman Higgins has been a vocal advocate for US-Mexico economic policy and public health. At the same time, he has sought to champion environmental issues within the House, such as pushing for stronger measures for renewable energy sources.
His departure has triggered a wave of disappointment, as many saw him as an opinion leader for the Democratic Party on Capitol Hill. Party delegates, including New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, have lamented the loss of Higgins’ congressional services.
Higgins’ critics are also suspicious about his motives for leaving. Some suggest that he may be looking to move forward in some kind of political capacity outside of Congress. Others wonder why he’s leaving so surprisingly far ahead of the end of his term in 2022.
Despite the confusion, one thing remains certain: the void left by Congressman Higgins will be difficult to fill. As the New York Democratic Party looks to rebuild after this shock, many will be paying tribute to all that Higgins accomplished in his 16 years in Congress.