Tags: US | Congress | Obey | Retirement

Sources: Powerful House Chairman Obey to Retire

Wednesday, 05 May 2010 01:09 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Rep. David Obey, a leading liberal Democrat and chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, intends to retire at the end of his term this year, Democratic sources said Wednesday. It is another blow to Democrats defending their majority in an election season of voter discontent.

Obey, 71, won the first of 21 terms in 1969 from Wisconsin — when a special election was held after President Richard Nixon tapped Melvin Laird to be his defense secretary. He faced a potentially bruising re-election campaign this fall.

His office issued a statement saying he would make a major announcement in early afternoon, but disclosed no details. The Democratic sources spoke on condition of anonymity to speak frankly about Obey's decision before the announcement.

Obey, among a handful of veteran House Democrats who had been bracing for competitive races this fall, has routinely won re-election easily despite representing a competitive district. He won in 2008 with 61 percent of the vote. But he has never faced the level of competition as he does this year as voters sour on Washington.

Sean Duffy, 38, a Republican district attorney, is seen as the favored candidate in the GOP primary, and his candidacy has attracted the backing of Republicans in Washington as well as the party's 2008 vice president nominee, Sarah Palin, and tea party activists.

Obey came to the House during the tumult of the Vietnam War, when it was dominated by Southern conservative Democrats. He earned a reputation as a reformer over the years and is a longtime ally and confidant of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

He also can have a gruff, sometimes prickly demeanor and doesn't suffer fools gladly.

He first became chairman of the Appropriations Committee in 1994, and was a top architect of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus bill.

Republicans took a measure of credit for forcing Obey's retirement.

"There is no question that David Obey was facing the race of his life and that is why it is understandable that the architect of President Obama's failed stimulus plan has decided to call it quits," said Ken Spain, a spokesman for the Republican campaign committee.

Democratic officials declined to respond, saying they would wait for Obey's formal announcement.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

German Researchers: Cellphone Calls, Messages Easy to Crack

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 14:12 PM

Security flaws on the global network that routes the world's cellphone calls and texts could allow hackers and criminals . . .

Kepler's Exoplanet Find Is First Since Space Telescope Revived

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 09:54 AM

The Kepler space telescope has discovered its first exoplanet since NASA's engineers were able to reboot the mission man . . .

Rosetta Comet-Landing Is 2014's Top Science Breakthrough

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 08:37 AM

The top scientific breakthrough of 2014 was the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft's rendezvous with a comet, th . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved