representative Jim McCrery, senior Republican on the
tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, told associates
Friday he intends to retire rather than seek
reelection in 2008.
joins 17 other Republicans who are headed into voluntary
retirement as the party struggles to adjust to its return to
minority status after the 2006 election.
disclosed McCrery's decision on condition of anonymity, not
wanting to preempt a formal statement.
prepared for release said that McCrery reached his decision
both out of disappointment that Republicans no longer
controlled the House and his desire to spend more time
with his children.
McCrery was the
subject of a 1992 investigation by The Advocate, in
which a Dallas teacher claimed he had sex with the
congressman twice right before he won his first
election in 1988. He and others who spoke to The
Advocate accused McCrery of pandering to conservatives
by supporting antigay legislation and policies.
McCrery and his wife, Johnette, denied the claims of
the sexual relationship.
McCrery had been
well-positioned to take over as chairman of the Ways and
Means Committee in January if the GOP had held control in
last year's election.
chairmanship would have allowed me to play a leading role in
addressing some of the biggest long-term problems facing our
country,'' the statement said.
He said he had
sought to work harmoniously with Rep. Charles Rangel, the
New York Democrat who chairs the panel, and that the two
have had some success in drafting bipartisan trade
''But on tax
reform, Medicare, health care reform, and Social Security
reform, our best efforts have come to naught,'' the
''So, given that
disappointment and my desire to more fully enjoy the
last few years my boys will be at home, I will not seek
reelection to the Congress in 2008.''
McCrery has been
a consistent supporter of President Bush's tax cuts. He
also played a behind-the-scenes role in trying to find a
bipartisan plan to shore up the Social Security system
after Bush's original plan ran into a stone wall of
opposition from Democrats. (AP, with additional
reporting from The Advocate)