Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has decided to retire after 11 terms.
Republican officials said the 75-year-old McKeon will announce his plans on Thursday. The California Republican has represented a district north of Los Angeles that includes several major defense contractors.
McKeon campaigned for Republican candidates in 2010 and thanks to the GOP tidal wave took over the chairmanship of the committee. He has fought to protect Pentagon spending in a struggle with deficit hawks in Congress, including many in his party.
The Republican officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss McKeon's plans ahead of his official announcement.
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