The PJ Tatler

Ranking Dem On Appropriations Committee Retiring

Ho-hum. Another Democrat retiring

Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, will retire at the end of 2012, he announced Friday.

Dicks, who was in line to chair the powerful Appropriations panel if Democrats were to win control of the House in November, joins a growing list of senior members of Congress to call it quits this year.

In a statement, the 18-term congressman said he wanted to “change gears and enjoy life at a different pace.”

“The privilege of serving in the House of Representatives, with the endorsement of the voters every two years, is indeed an honor unlike no other profession in our country and I have truly enjoyed every day here and have cherished all of the friendships we have made with many of the finest public servants in the nation,” Dicks said. “I am proud that many of these friendships have crossed the ideological and party lines that tend to separate us, and I have always believed that we can achieve greater results if we leave politics aside when the election season and the floor debates are over.”

Eighteen terms is 36 years… so why retire now? The Hill buries a hint deep in the story.

One Democratic aide said the House’s recent ban on earmarks had likely played a role in Dicks’s decision to retire. “Being on the Appropriations Committee isn’t what it used to be,” said the Democrat.

So, if you can’t play games with other people’s money, it’s not worth being a Representative, is that it, Norm? So now you’ll hit the speaking circuit or become a lobbyist and make the big bucks, I am sure. Or maybe if he wins, Obama will name you one of his czars.

(image from Norm Dicks’ website)