For a guy who claimed he only wanted off the “crazy train” to pursue a quiet life out of the public eye, House Oversight Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) sure is making headlines as he prepares to leave Congress (early) on Friday. The day after he advocated for for essentially free housing for his fellow Congressfolk, word has dropped on his new job, and it doesn’t exactly involve hightailing it back to Utah to be with his family every day, which was his expressed intent when he announced his departure. Instead, Chaffetz will appear on Fox News and Fox Business as a contributor on several programs.
Yep, Chaffetz is about to put his many years of D.C. insider experience into analysis for both daytime and primetime shows. This has been his rumored plan for a few months, but Fox News has now issued a formal announcement that mostly lists his relevant experience while noting a July 1 starting date:
During his time as congressman, he served as the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was a member of the House Judiciary Committee. He also served on the Homeland Security Committee.
Additionally, Mr. Chaffetz had an integral role in many government investigations, including the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, the Benghazi terrorist attack, the IRS targeting scandal and the Secret Service investigation. Prior to running for Congress in 2008, Mr. Chaffetz worked as campaign manager and chief of staff to former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. (R).
Given how Chaffetz made such a fuss about $174,000 congressional baseline salaries, one would assume that he’ll be paid more at his new job. What should we expect him to do? Well, he went viral (in a bad way) after telling people to choose between iPhones and healthcare, so he’ll likely indulge in similar incendiary commentary on a daily basis. And he’s certainly going to hit the ground running with no breathing time between his last day on Capitol Hill and the new place.
In addition, one should assume that he will heavily weigh in on Congress’ continued struggle to pass a GOP healthcare bill. It’s going to be odd, since Chaffetz was in the House trenches back when they failed to pass the first bill, and now he’ll provide commentary as his former colleagues either succeed or fail in this endeavor. Given that more than a handful of leading Republican senators have expressed opposition to the bill, their chances aren’t looking good. However, Chaffetz has found a friendly audience for his perspectives, unlike the town hall settings that became the bane of his existence.