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. â€œThere is a time to stay and a time to go. And this is my time to go,â€ 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 Nixonâ€™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 chamberâ€™s third-longest-serving Democrat. Twenty Republicans are also leaving their positions to retire or run for higher office.