Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Dave Obey, will not seek re-election in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District this November. As chair of the appropriations committee Obey oversees more than $1 trillion in annual federal spending. “There is a time to stay and a time to go. And this is my time to go,” Obey said at a press conference on Capitol Hill today.
Obey has held his congressional seat since April 1969, when he replaced Melvin Laird, who stepped down to become President Richard Nixon’s defense secretary.
Obey is the 17th Democrat to announce that they will leave at the end of this session of Congress. He is the highest-ranking House Democrat to retire and is the chamber’s third-longest-serving Democrat. Twenty Republicans are also leaving their positions to retire or run for higher office.