Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) announced on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives that he would not run for re-election in the next term.
“Mr. Speaker, I have chosen to leave Congress at the end of this term," Dreier said. "I take the unusual step of announcing this from the floor of Congress for two reasons. First, this is where my fellow Californians sent me to represent them. Second, I am a proud institutionalist, and I believe that this institution is as great as it has ever been."
Dreier represents the 26th Congressional District, including Montrose, La Crescenta, La Cañada Flintridge, a portion of Altadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Monrovia, Glendora, La Verne, San Dimas, Claremont, Walnut and communities in San Bernardino County.
The Congressman has chaired the powerful House Rules Committee for nine of the past 13 years and has served in the House since 1981, according to Huffington Post. The redistricting process in Los Angeles County left him without an obvious district to run in and his decision was long expected, Huffington Post reported.
Dreier supported a petition drive to overturn the redistricting plan, which was drawn by citizens for the first time instead of politicians, the Los Angeles Times reported. The petition drive never passed because Dreier's California Republican colleagues were divided over the concept.
Dreier stated that he contemplated leaving Congress three years ago but chose to stay for four reasons:
- To reverse the very dangerous 82% increase in non-defense discretionary spending that we had in the previous two Congresses.
- To finally pass the job-creating free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
- To enhance our national security by working to strengthen the legislatures of new and reemerging democracies across the globe through the bipartisan House Democracy Partnership.
- To ensure, through the Rules Committee, that both Democrats and Republicans have the opportunity to offer their solutions by proposing amendments on the House floor.
“Mr. Speaker, I have been honored to play a part in the effort to accomplish these four goals," Dreier said. "Acting in a bipartisan way, we have fundamentally altered the federal spending process, focusing on fiscal discipline rather than profligacy. We not only passed all three pending free trade agreements. We did so with the largest bipartisan support of any trade measure in years," he said.
Dreier encouraged bipartisan cooperation in Congress.
“I have always believed that Republicans and Democrats alike serve the American people best when we find ways to build bipartisan consensus," Dreir said. "The framers of our constitution envisioned Congress as a forum for a great clash of ideas. We all have different, sometimes radically different, views of how to build a better and stronger America. I have always believed that our efforts must be rooted in our pursuit of a free economy, personal freedom, limited government, and a strong national defense. Others may take a different view. These differences demand a passionate debate, but that debate must ultimately arrive at consensus."
Dreier thanked his supporters and staff in his announcement.
“As I prepare to follow the Madisonian directive that Members of Congress should one day leave office to live under the laws they passed, there are many whom I would like to thank," Dreier said. "Family and friends, volunteers and supporters, and of course the voters who first gave me my party’s nomination in 1978 when I was 25 and lived in the Phillips Hall dormitory at my alma mater, Claremont McKenna College.
“I would also like to thank the dedicated public servants in my offices in California and Washington, who have so ably worked in behalf of the people I’ve been privileged to represent.”
Dreier is the sixth California House member to announce his retirement, according to The Times.