Top Pelosi ally retiring from the House after 40 years
January 13th, 2014
01:30 PM ET
9 months ago

Top Pelosi ally retiring from the House after 40 years

Washington (CNN) – Rep. George Miller of California, a top ally of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the dean of the state's congressional delegation, announced Monday he will not run for re-election this fall, marking the end of a 40 year career on Capitol Hill.

"I'm proud of what I have been able to accomplish on behalf of children, working people and the environment, in my district and for our country, especially passage of national health care reform. Now, I look forward to one last year in Congress fighting the good fight and then working in new venues on the issues that have inspired me," Miller said in a written statement.

Pelosi released a lengthy statement touting Miller's accomplishments over the last four decades, including chairing three separate House committees, and serving as the co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, a leadership post appointed each session.

"My sadness at his departure from Congress in 2015 is mitigated only by my certainty that he will utilize his exemplary knowledge and skills in a new venue where he will surely again be a successful leader for our state and our nation," Pelosi said.

Miller, 68, serves as the top Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, a panel he chaired when the Democrats controlled the chamber. He has built a record as a top progressive in the House, but Miller worked closely with Rep. John Boehner, who was the top Republican on the education committee, and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, to pass the education reform bill known as "No Child Left Behind" in 2002. He also worked on student loan bills, health care reform, and several measures aimed at protecting labor rights.

“No one would confuse me and George Miller for ideological soul mates, but during our years serving together on the Education & the Workforce Committee, we got things done on behalf of the American people thanks in no small part to his dedication and willingness to work for the greater good," Speaker Boehner said in a statement. "I have great respect for George, and on behalf of the whole House, thank him for his decades of service and congratulate him on a remarkable career.”

The California Democrat also gained notoriety recently after Amazon launched a television series based on his Capitol Hill house, called "Alpha House," which chronicles the escapades of four fictional GOP Senators who bunk together when working in Washington, D.C.. Miller owns the real life version just blocks from the Capitol, and rents out rooms to two top Senate Democratic Leaders – Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York. Despite the top leadership posts held by its residents, the dilapidated house resembles the kind of group house shared by many twenty-something junior congressional aides.

Schumer tweeted out a notice he's looking for a new house mate: "Seeking roommate. 20 terms in the House & unmatched legislative record preferred. Lover of cold cereal a must."

Miller's district outside San Francisco is solidly blue, and is highly likely to remain in the Democrats' hands – he won re-election with 70% of the vote in 2012. With the exception of his first race Miller in 1974, he has won re-election with at least 60% of the vote.

To date nine House Republicans and four House Democrats have announced retirements ahead of this fall's midterm elections. Democrats would need to pick up 17 House seats to regain control of the House of Representatives, something most political analysts say is now out of their reach due to the low number of competitive races.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    40 years is quite a while. Thank your for your service. Good joke Sen. Schumer.

    January 13, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. Abbey

    Thanks for making a mess! I hope nobody follows in those footsteps. This Obamacare debacle will set the nation back a decade or so!

    January 13, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    You know it's time to retire when you've served longer than the people sitting behind you have been alive.

    January 13, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. just saying

    40 years of bringing the country down with his destructive leftist ideas like obamacare. good riddance. can you take pelosi with you?!! please!!!

    January 13, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. The REAL Truth...

    @just saying – 40 years of bringing the country down with his destructive leftist ideas like obamacare.
    ------------------
    The complete ignorance displayed by those on the right is well illustrated above. A quick search will show that Reagan and Dubya BOTH doubled the National Debt in their 8 yrs in office, increased the size of the Federal Govt and have contributed to more destructive ideas in 16 combined years than this public servant has ever done. The hypocrisy from the drones is not surprising.

    January 13, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. it must be said

    So the guy is 68 and he served in the House for 40 years which means he was 28 when he was elected. What sort of real world experience did he acquire in that short time? Probably not much. And I'll bet he was an academic which means he knew nothing but theories about reality. So at the ripe old age of 28 he had free reign to force his nutty lefty agenda on the country. And we wonder why we are so screwed up?

    January 13, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. usa

    Bout time. thanks for bringing our country to its knees.

    January 13, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    it must be said

    So the guy is 68 and he served in the House for 40 years which means he was 28 when he was elected. What sort of real world experience did he acquire in that short time? Probably not much.
    -------------------------
    He was the same age Paul Ryan was when he was first elected to Congress. What do you have to say to that?

    January 13, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Some call it a retirment. I call it the removal of part of the leftist Democrat cancer slowly killing the country. Hopefully 2014 and 2016 will see far more it this cancer removed.

    January 13, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    "Now, I look forward to one last year in Congress fighting the good fight and then working in new venues on the issues that have inspired me."
    --------
    Hopping on the lobbyist gravy train, no doubt.

    January 13, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. just asking

    Pelosi released a lengthy statement touting Miller's accomplishments over the last four decades, including chairing three separate House committees, and serving as the co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, a leadership post appointed each session.
    --

    yeah, so he served on some committees. he was there for 40 years. what bills did he propose? what new ideas did he contribute? (crickets)

    January 13, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Ol' Yeller

    "force his nutty lefty agenda "

    Yeah!!! Like feeding the poor. And allowing all people to vote. And making sure our children our educated. And fighting for people to earn a living wage. And ensuring the justice system is fair. And trying to prevent more enviromental disasters (wanna talk about cutting regulations to the people of WV?). By being the voice of the poor and disenfranchised against the wealthy and soulless Corporations. By fighting against those who wish to start wars with poorer weaker countries, so we can impose our form of government on them.... in the name of freedom, of course.
    That nutty lefty agenda...

    January 13, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. CALIFORNIA

    He's as worthless as Pelosi herself.

    January 13, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    just askin asked:

    yeah, so he served on some committees. he was there for 40 years.
    what bills did he propose? what new ideas did he contribute? (crickets)
    -------------------------
    " He has built a record as a top progressive in the House, but Miller worked closely with Rep. John Boehner, who was the top Republican on the education committee, and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, to pass the education reform bill known as "No Child Left Behind" in 2002. "

    January 13, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |