Kinzinger is part of the panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack perpetrated by former president's supporters.
A military veteran who represents his northern Illinois congressional district from 2013, Kinzinger was one of 10 House Republicans that voted to impeach Trump for inciting insurrection at Capitol. Kinzinger is joined by Ohio GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez as one of 10 lawmakers who have opted to resign from Congress.
In a video, the Illinois Republican declared his decision and said that it was now time to move on. He said, "My disappointment in leaders that don’t lead is enormous."
Kinzinger, 43 years old, suggested that he might have other plans. He said: "I can't focus on both a congressional reelection and a larger fight across the country. It is not the end of my political career, but it is the beginning. Kinzinger also mentioned that he was recently married and that they are expecting a boy in January.
This announcement was made hours after Democrats in Illinois approved new congressional districts that placed Kinzinger in the exact same district as GOP Rep. Darin L. Hood, who is a strong Trump supporter and said Friday that he will be seeking reelection. Kinzinger's criticisms against Trump are hard to overcome in a primary that draws heavily Republican districts.
Trump snorted in response: "2 down 8 to go!"
Since Jan. 6, when a mob made up of Trump supporters stormed Capitol to prevent Joe Biden becoming president, Kinzinger has become increasingly critical of his party. At the request of Democrats, Kinzinger joined Republican Rep. Liz Cheney from Wyoming to be a member the House committee investigating this attack.
He stated that the country was "poisoned" by the falsehoods that have been fed to it and that they must be unplugged.
Kinzinger founded Country First, a political group to support candidates who are against Trump and view him as a threat. In a Friday video, Kinzinger stated that he knew he wasn't alone in his search for a better path.
They want solutions and not more problems. They are looking for action and not extremism. They are looking for light and not darkness. He said that the sooner we act, the better it is for the land we love." "Now is the right time to make country first."
Trump critic Pat Brady, former chair of the Illinois Republican Party, described Kinzinger's resignation from Congress as a "huge loss," for both the party and Illinois voters. He stated that Kinzinger was "the type of Republican we need to have more of".
He also decried the redistricting process, which is creating more partisan areas across the country. This makes primary elections the main battleground to win a seat in Congress. It has led to politicians sent to Washington taking more extreme positions and being less inclined to work with the opposition party.
Other moderate members of Congress could lose their seats in redistricting ahead to the 2022 elections.
Brady stated that "there's just not enough people at the middle anymore." It's not working and it's contributing the rancor that we need to end.