Rep. Dave Camp won’t run again, another committee chair leaving the House
March 31st, 2014
06:23 PM ET
7 months ago

Rep. Dave Camp won’t run again, another committee chair leaving the House

Washington (CNN) - House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Michigan, announced on Monday he will not run for reelection this year.

"This decision was reached after much consideration and discussion with my family," Camp said in a statement.

Camp, who is serving his 12th term in Congress, is the fourth House Republican committee chairman to opt for retirement after the November election.

The others, all Republicans as well, are: California’s Buck McKeon of Armed Services; Washington state’s Doc Hastings of Natural Resources, and Michigan’s Mike Rogers of Intelligence.

Under House GOP rules, those holding top committee posts are limited to three terms in the job, and Camp's tenure at the tax-writing panel was due to expire after the current session of Congress.

Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has indicated that he's interested in taking over the Ways and Means gavel next year.

Camp’s announcement raised to 23 the number of House members retiring this year. Thirteen are Republicans and the rest are Democrats.

Camp, 60, was diagnosed in 2012 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But he underwent chemotherapy and said late last year he was “cancer free.”

Last month, Camp rolled out a major overhaul of the nation's tax code, reducing the number of tax brackets to three – 10%, 25% and 35%.

But even GOP aides concede it's unlikely his proposal will move forward several months before the midterm election.

Camp had been working with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, on plans to cut deductions and loopholes in the current system. But he lost his chief Democratic ally when Baucus moved on to serve as Ambassador to China.

House Speaker John Boehner referred to the bill as "a discussion draft" and when pressed if he'd get behind it's specific proposals, the speaker waved off, saying "blah, blah, blah."

But Boehner, elected the same year as Camp, mentioned those reform efforts in a statement praising his colleague’s role in several major policy debates on Capitol Hill.

"He has been a leader in the fight to increase economic growth and help create more American jobs by reforming our tax code, pushing for more effective free trade agreements, and saving Social Security and Medicare for future generations," Boehner said.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a statement saying Camp’s addition to a list of senior Republicans retiring instead of running for reelection is evidence of problems within the GOP.

“Yet another senior Republican committee chairman is abandoning John Boehner and his toxic Republican Congress,” the group’s chairman, Rep. Steve Israel of New York, said in a statement.

The statement also suggests Democrats see Camp’s retirement as a pick-up opportunity for the party in November.

But major political analysts rate it as a safe GOP seat. Camp won it with more than 63% of the vote in 2012. And Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried Camp's central Michigan district 53%-45% in 2012.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Dave Camp • House Republicans
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Camp, 60, was diagnosed in 2012 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But he underwent chemotherapy and said late last year he was “cancer free.”
    -------------------------------------------------
    I don't care what side of the aisle he's on, I wish him a full recuperation and may he remain cancer-free.
    @ Tampa Tim- I was beside myself with joy this morning when I heard the news!
    Over 7 million enrolled!
    Outstanding! Thank you for your courage and determination to fulfill your campaign promise to us Mr. President!!

    April 1, 2014 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  2. Conrad

    Due to gerrymandering, the net effect of the retirements will be a higher proportion of Koch-backed Tea Party members.

    April 1, 2014 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  3. okiejoe

    I see, it's too late to get anything done in Congress because it's too close to the mid-term elections but next year it will be too early to get anything done and then it will be too close to the next Presidential/Congressional election to get anything done. Anything but campaigning that is.

    April 1, 2014 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. Ken

    Why are you left leaning libs so hard on the Koch Brothers? Do you even realized they are 50 spots down from the top political donors? Do you even know who are the top 3 donors are???? U N I O N S.. Yes Unions.. I don't hear/see any one whining about their donations to the politicians. Put that in your pipe and smoke that you lib.

    April 1, 2014 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  5. sailor12

    Good you didn't do crap anyway. Go home and you shouldn't be getting a pension or health care from the tax payers.

    April 1, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
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