- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Dreier to retire, opening up key House post
Rep. David Dreier, the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, said Wednesday that he won’t seek re-election this year, ending a more than three-decade congressional career and setting up a potential scramble for his panel’s chairmanship.
The Rules Committee post, while not well known beyond Capitol Hill, is considered a crucial slot in the House hierarchy and one that is closely linked to the party’s leadership. Often called the chamber’s “gatekeeper,” the committee sets the rules for debate on bills on the floor and — a major source of its clout — decides which amendments proposed by members can be considered by the full House.
The California Republican, whose re-election prospects were complicated because of redistricting, said he contemplated retiring three years ago but decided against it because he wanted to stay in Congress to push for spending cuts, free-trade agreements and national security enhancements.
“This work is far from over, and I intend to spend this year working toward greater bipartisan progress,” he said. “Our economy and our job market remain in peril, and the effort to rein in the deficit has only just begun.”
Mr. Dreier, 59, considered a moderate in the House GOP caucus, said he took the unusual step to announce his retirement on the House floor because he was a “proud institutionalist.” He said he thinks the House is “as great as it has ever been.”
“I personally have long considered David to be a good friend and trusted counselor,” Mr. Boehner said. “I know these sentiments are shared by members on both sides of the aisle, who respect David’s intellect and sense of fairness.”
Mr. Dreier was first elected to the House from the Los Angeles area in 1980 at age 28. He served as chairman of the Rules Committee from 1999 until 2007, when he was forced from the post after Democrats gained control of the House. He reclaimed the position in 2011 after Republicans retook the chamber.
Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas is the second-ranking Republican on the Rules Committee and in line to succeed Mr. Dreier. In a statement issued under his role as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Mr. Sessions said Mr. Dreier has a “friend and a mentor, and I will greatly miss his leadership and presence in Congress.”
But there is speculation on Capitol Hill that Republican leaders could tap someone else as the party’s top representative on the panel. Reps. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina and Rob Bishop of Utah have been mentioned, though Mrs. Foxx said Wednesday that she won’t lobby for the chairmanship and that it’s up to Mr. Boehner to decide. When asked whether she would accept the post if offered to her, she said such a scenario “is not likely to happen.”
“I am really totally neutral on this,” she said. “I just think that we should appreciate David Dreier and hope that whoever becomes the chair does as good a job.”
Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter, a New York Democrat who served as chairwoman for four years but relinquished the post to Mr. Dreier in 2011, likely would be her party’s choice to retake the position should Democrats win back control of the House in the November elections.
Because of redistricting — which has significantly altered the congressional map in California — Mr. Dreier faced the precarious prospect of running for re-election in a more Democratic district or facing off against an incumbent in a neighboring district.
The process has been blamed as a major influence affecting retirement decisions of other California incumbents, including longtime GOP Reps. Jerry Lewis, Wally Herger and Elton Gallegly.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- Snow storm sucker punch: U.S. hit by winter wave
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- KEENE: Nelson Mandela's legacy
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!