Continued from page 1

Mr. Chambliss said he wasn’t worried about a primary or general election challenger and said he was confident he would have won if he had decided to run.

“Instead, this [decision to step down] is about frustration, both at a lack of leadership from the White House and at the dearth of meaningful action from Congress, especially on issues that are the foundation of our nation’s economic health,” Mr. Chambliss said.

“The debt-ceiling debacle of 2011 and the recent ‘fiscal cliff’ vote showed Congress at its worst and, sadly, I don’t see the legislative gridlock and partisan posturing improving anytime soon. For our nation to be strong, for our country to prosper, we cannot continue to play politics with the American economy.”

Mr. Chambliss, 69, who first was elected to the Senate in 2002 after eight years in the House, said he reached his decision after several weeks of “thought and prayer.” He added he never intended to be a career Washington politician despite spending two decades on Capitol Hill.

The lawmaker has championed conservative positions but drew flak from tea party Republicans for his role in a bipartisan group of senators known as the “Gang of Six” that studied ways to lower the deficit. The group’s efforts failed to produce successful legislation.

Mr. Chambliss said one of his greatest honors in Washington was to “champion our men and women in uniform, their families and the Georgia military bases and contractors who create private-sector jobs.”

The Republican, who serves as vice chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, vowed to be an active participant in the chamber during his final two years in office.

“There is lots left to do. I am in good health and I plan to continue working hard to represent the best interests of Georgians, and to do my utmost to help restore America to its economic greatness,” he said.