Retiring Rep. Dave Camp has blasted Republican regulations on committee chairmanships while admitting that he's leaving Congress because he's losing his powerful position as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The Michigan Republican announced earlier this week that he was retiring at the end of the year after a quarter of a century in Washington.
"The main reason is I'm term-limited in my chairmanship of Ways and Means," Camp told The Detroit News
, referring to his retirement. "So that really has caused me to take a look at what role I have after that."
He took charge of the powerful tax-writing committee when Republicans won control of the House in 2011. GOP rules limit chairmanships to six years, including time served as the ranking Republican member when Democrats controlled the House.
"I don't think time as ranking member should be equated with time as chairman because as ranking member you can't set the agenda," Camp told the News. "I don't agree with that part of the term limit."
House Speaker John Boehner, Camp's longtime friend and ally, is allowed to make exceptions to the rules. He kept Wisconsin's Republican Rep. Paul Ryan on as chairman of the Budget Committee last year despite exceeding his term limit, according to the News.
Ryan is now the frontrunner to take over as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, although he's likely to face a challenge from Texas Rep. Kevin Brady
, the No. 2 ranking Republican on the committee. Brady said he was "qualified and prepared to lead" the committee.
Camp would not reveal whether he had asked Boehner for an extension to his chairmanship.
"It's not going to be changed," he told the News. "It is what it is. I am term-limited as chairman, and that was a factor in my decision."
The 60-year-old congressman said he doesn't know yet what he plans to do next with his life. "I haven't even begun to think about that," he said. "I have nothing lined up. I'm not as organized as Mike Rogers."
Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, revealed last month that he's retiring at year's end to become a radio host
, while noting that he can be a "bigger voice" outside Washington.
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