Trent Lott, the Senate minority whip, announced his retirement Monday, the same day Rep. J. Dennis Hastert officially vacated his seat to let Illinois hold a special primary election Feb. 5, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
In all, 17 Republican House members and six senators are retiring while five Democratic House members are stepping down or running for higher office. No Democratic member of the Senate up for re-election has announced plans to retire, the Post reported.
Political strategists of both parties say Republicans risk falling more into the minority in both congressional houses in 2008, especially when faced with running costly campaigns, the Post reported.
The most recent figures show congressional Democrats had about $52.4 million to spend on races, while congressional Republicans had about $12 million in cash, the Post reported.