“It represents a budgetary cease-fire and I hope a historic turning point in getting this necessary funding process back on track,” he said. “I’ve seen the appropriations process at its height, and more recently its nadir. When the appropriations process is working, the government functions on behalf of the people, the economy is stronger, and the country overall becomes more inclusive, egalitarian and productive.”
Mr. Moran’s lengthy tenure was not without controversy. An outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, he was heavily criticized at the time by the White House and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, for citing the “strong support of the Jewish community” for the war in March 2003.
Mr. Moran later said he regretted the remarks and that he meant if more groups, including religious ones, were more outspoken against the war, the country wouldn’t pursue that option.
But the broader anti-war sentiment behind the remarks is consistent with Mr. Moran’s positioning to the left of many of his fellow Democrats on such issues as foreign policy, gay rights and climate change.
His tenure also was marked by a series of bizarre altercations that drew criticism from his opponents and his colleagues alike and led to charges that Mr. Moran, a former college boxer, was a bully.
In 1998, during the revelations about the president’s infidelities, he reportedly told first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton that if he were her brother, he would have punched President Clinton in the nose.
In 1995, he had to apologize after pushing Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, California Republican, out of the House floor into a cloakroom. More than a dozen Capitol Police officers were called to restore order.
Earlier that year, Mr. Moran threatened to break the nose of Rep. Dan Burton, Indiana Republican, for intimidating a federal employee during a hearing.
Nevertheless, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, a fellow Virginia Democrat, said the retirement is a loss for Congress and for the region. He called Mr. Moran a “dear friend” and a “passionate advocate for our region and for the progressive agenda, and someone who has delivered for us time and time again.”
“With our Republican colleague Frank Wolf, we’ve beat back efforts to slash Metro funding, secured federal support for Rail to Dulles, and defended federal employees from withering attacks,” Mr. Connolly said.
Mr. Corcoran applauded the Northern Virginia congressmen for their work in helping move plans forward for rail to Dulles and for pushing to lure the FBI’s headquarters to Springfield.
“Fairfax County is always going to be the best place, but seniority certainly helps,” Mr. Corcoran said. “I don’t think it was fear there of losing their seats. It was just their time.”