US Rep. Jim Moran, seen here in 2010, serves on the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia says he will not seek re-election to Congress after 12 terms.
“It’s time to close this chapter of my life and move on to the next challenge,” Moran said in a statement released Wednesday.
Moran is the third Democrat to announce his retirement this week, following California’s George Miller and New York’s Bill Owens. Virginia’s 8th District is in a Democratic stronghold and Moran’s retirement will no doubt spark a lively primary since the congressman has been in office since 1991.
Moran, a sometimes combative congressman who once got into a shoving match with a GOP lawmaker, was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War.
He is also known for his work on the House Appropriations Committee, which allocates federal dollars, and advocacy for the federal workers who live in Washington’s suburbs. From his committee perch, Moran has been involved in securing funding for such local projects as Washington’s Metro subway system and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement that Moran has been a “pillar” of the Democratic caucus. “Congressman Moran’s eloquence and ability commands the respect of members on both sides of the aisle,” she said. “We will miss his passion and his conscience.”
His fellow-members hailed Moran as a defense-sector ally.
“The passion Jim brings to his advocacy for the men, women, and children in Northern Virginia is unmatched," House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said Wednesday in a statement. "There is not a stronger defender in Congress of clean land, water, and air; human rights and rule of law; and our Armed Forces and all federal employees. Jim’s retirement is a loss for the Democratic Caucus and for the entire Congress.”
The praise for Moran was bipartisan.
“Jim Moran has dedicated a career of service to the people of our commonwealth. I have enjoyed working with Jim on a number of issues affecting Northern Virginia, including transportation issues and fighting for our hardworking federal employees," House Armed Services Readiness subcommittee Chairman Rob Wittman, R-Va., said in a statement. "I appreciate his commitment to his constituents and his friendship during our service together in the House of Representatives.”