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Virginia Congressman Jim Moran Announces Retirement From Congress

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Rep. Jim Moran has served in the House of Representatives for 23 years.
Matt Laslo/WAMU
Rep. Jim Moran has served in the House of Representatives for 23 years.

Democratic Virginia congressman Jim Moran today announced that he is retiring after more than two decades in the House of Representatives.

In a statement, Moran, who represents the portions of Northern Virginia closest to Washington, said that "it’s time to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next challenge."

Moran says he's retiring because he thinks he can direct more change working from outside of this Congress.

Congressman Moran first arrived on Capitol Hill in 1991. The proud progressive gained notoriety for delivering blistering floor speeches whenever his priorities were challenged, sometimes even challenging his fellow Democrats. Moran says he's still got that fight in him, but as an appropriator in a time of austerity, he says there isn't room in the current budgeting process for him to advance his spending priorities, which include environmental and animal rights issues.

"There's no room for new initiatives, let alone the kind of bold things I think we need to be doing for this country, in terms of investing in it's physical and its human infrastructure," Moran says. "Times have changed."

Moran says he's planning to finish out his term before continuing his advocacy outside of the Capitol, most likely at a lobbying firm.

Moran's announcement comes less than a month after Rep. Frank Wolf, the Republican congressman from Northern Virginia, similarly announced that he was retiring after three decades in the House.

Moran's statement in full is below.

“After 35 years as a public servant, as Mayor of Alexandria, and for the past 23 as a member of the House of Representatives, it’s time to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next challenge. It’s been an honor to represent Northern Virginia. I couldn’t be more fortunate to have spent my career working with such wonderful people trying to make this one of the best places in the world to live, work and raise a family.

“My chosen role in the U.S. Congress has been as an appropriator. I first served as staff to the Senate Appropriations Committee under Chairman Warren Magnuson in my 20s. I’ve seen the appropriations process at its height, and more recently its nadir. When the appropriations process is working, the government functions on behalf of the people, the economy is stronger, and the country overall becomes more inclusive, egalitarian and productive.

“With the Murray-Ryan agreement, and the work Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey, and their outstanding Appropriations’ staff exerted to reach the omnibus budget deal we will vote on this week, we’ve achieved a bipartisan agreement that deserves support. It represents a budgetary cease-fire and I hope a historic turning point in getting this necessary funding process back on track.

“To my family, friends, staff and supporters, thank you for all you have meant me over the past four decades in political office. What has kept me motivated all these years is serving you and our community. I prepare to leave Congress feeling very fortunate, grateful for what we’ve accomplished, and optimistic for the future of Northern Virginia, the Washington Metropolitan Region, and our nation.”

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