Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Wednesday that he's exiting Congress to "get off the crazy train."
"There comes a point where you gotta get off the crazy train," he told Fox News. "I happen to have a wife I love and kids I adore and two of our three kids are now married and they're moving away, we're about to become empty-nesters.
"I said I would get in, serve and get out," the five-term congressman added. "Fifteen hundred nights I've spent away from my family, and there comes a point where you got to get more balance in your life."
Chaffetz also cited financial reasons as "partly" to blame for his decision to leave, and suggested that members of Congress be granted a $2,500 housing stipend, which was later mocked by panelists on CNN.
"Faced with another 100 to 200 nights a year where my wife's by herself in Utah and I'm on a cot in Washington D.C. — as nice as the salary is, I can't afford to have two places and have a quality of life that I'd like to have," he said.
"You've got dozens and dozens of us that can't afford two mortgages, kids in college and other types of things."
He added that he thinks "it's unhealthy for the body to have people live here in perpetuity. But I also don't think it's healthy to just go back and forth every four days."
Chaffetz will begin working for Fox News as a contributor next month, though he didn't discount the possibility of running for governor of Utah in 2020.
"I'm not taking anything off the table," he said. "I'm not going to run for anything in 2018. I'm going to have this nice relationship with Fox News as a contributor."
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