David Cicilline Resigning From Congress To Lead Rhode Island Foundation

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Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), one of the most outspoken House Democrats on antitrust and competition issues, will resign from Congress to take over the Rhode Island Foundation.

The foundation, a philanthropic group that funds nonprofit organizations in the Ocean State, announced Tuesday that Cicilline would be its next president and CEO starting June 1.

“Serving the people of Rhode Island’s First Congressional District has been the honor of my lifetime,” Cicilline said in a statement Tuesday. “As president and CEO of one of the largest and oldest community foundations in the nation, I look forward to expanding on the work I have led for nearly thirty years in helping to improve the lives of all Rhode Islanders.”

Cicilline is currently in his seventh term in Congress. He previously served as the mayor of Providence, and was the first openly gay mayor of a state capital city.

Cicilline carved out a reputation for working on economic policy, focusing on measures to boost competition and restrict market consolidation that hurts consumers and workers.

He and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) announced the formation of a bipartisan antitrust caucus in early February. Cicilline also served as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary subcommittee with jurisdiction over antitrust issues, where he oversaw a lengthy investigation into competition in the digital marketplace.

“This is a loss for the antimonopoly work,” Nidhi Hegde, director of strategy and programs at the American Economic Liberties Project, wrote in a tweet.

Cicilline also served as the impeachment manager for former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, and was a member of the House Judiciary Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee.

He was active in the gun safety debate, sponsoring a bill to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

In his statement, he described the opportunity to lead the Rhode Island Foundation as “unexpected.” Cicilline late last year made a short-lived bid for the party’s fourth-ranking leadership post in the House, which pitted him against Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.). He withdrew before it came to a vote.

His resignation means there will be a special election for his seat, which is considered safely Democratic.