Bay Area Dem George Miller Retiring After Four Decades in House

A Bay Area Democrat who has served in Congress for four decades has decided to hang up his hat and not seek his 21st term this fall.

"This is a great institution and I cannot thank my family and my constituents enough for having given me the honor and privilege of representing my district in Congress these past 40 years," said Rep. George Miller, who represents Contra Costa County. "I have tried to repay them for their confidence by working hard every day to make our country a better place. I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish on behalf of children, working people and the environment, in my district and for our country, especially passage of national health care reform."

"Now, I look forward to one last year in Congress fighting the good fight and then working in new venues on the issues that have inspired me. What a wonderful experience this has been."

Miller, 68, has chaired three committees during his tenure and is the fifth most senior member in the House.

“No one would confuse me and George Miller for ideological soul mates, but during our years serving together on the Education & the Workforce Committee, we got things done on behalf of the American people thanks in no small part to his dedication and willingness to work for the greater good," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. "I have great respect for George, and on behalf of the whole House, thank him for his decades of service and congratulate him on a remarkable career.”

"There are good Democrats. Rep. George Miller of California has announced he will retire. All men and women of good will wish him well," Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform tweeted.

Miller said he leaves Congress "with a full heart and a crowded plate, because the challenges of our times demand our constant involvement."

“I look forward to continuing to work on the issues that have been at the core of my career and my passions, in particular education reform, economic fairness, and improving labor standards in the United States and abroad, such as in the worldwide garment industry," he added.

"Because of his tireless efforts, our air and water are cleaner, our workers’ rights are better protected, more young people can afford to go to college, and more working families can make ends meet," President Obama said in a statement. "George was a chief author of the first bill I signed into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. His decades-long fight to bring quality, affordable health insurance to millions of Americans made him an indispensable partner in developing and passing the Affordable Care Act. And he continues to fight for our shared belief that a minimum wage should be a wage you can live on."