Veteran California Republican announces retirement
February 29th, 2012
12:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Veteran California Republican announces retirement

(CNN) - California Republican Rep. David Dreier, one of the longest-serving Republicans in the House, announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the year.

The veteran lawmaker's decision to retire after nearly 32 years in the chamber was expected because California's redistricting process left him essentially without a House seat to represent. He is the seventh Golden State House member to opt not to run due to the new map that redrew Congressional districts across the state.

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Dreier, who chairs the influential House Rules Committee, which sets the format for debating bills on the floor, took the unusual move of making his announcement public from the well of the House floor.

"First, this is where my fellow Californians sent me to represent them," Dreier explained. "Second, I am a proud institutionalist, and I believe that this institution is as great as it has ever been."

In his speech Dreier said he thought about leaving Congress three years ago, but wanted to serve another term to push through key priorities like the three recent trade agreements, bills to cut federal spending and new rules allowing both parties to offer changes to legislation on the floor.

Despite leading a panel that is known for its predictable partisan split on virtually every rule it passes to detail the structure for debating legislation, Dreier is well liked by members of both parties.

As he stood in the House chamber, a place that has witnessed bitter partisan divide over recent months, the California Republican appealed to his colleagues to work together.

"I have always believed that Republicans and Democrats alike serve the American people best when we find ways to build bipartisan consensus," Dreier said.

His announcement comes a day after another moderate Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, surprised colleagues saying she would not to run for re-election. She pointed to the partisan atmosphere in Washington as a chief reason for her retirement.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Woman In California

    California republican is all I need to see. Good riddance.

    February 29, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. cali girl

    Another GOP bites the dust. That is up to 5 now with this in the total.

    February 29, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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