WASHINGTON - Rep. Jim Moran is retiring from Congress after 23 years.
The Democratic congressman represents Northern Virginia and previously served as the mayor of Alexandria. He will retire at the end of his term, his 12th.
The 68-year Moran, who was first elected in 1990, has been a staunch supporter of federal civilian employees who have a heavy presence in his district.
Moran, who is known for his independent streak, represents Virginia's 8th District. The district includes Alexandria, Falls Church, Arlington and portions of Fairfax County.
Moran is the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Interior subcommittee and a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Moran said he chose a role as an appropriator in Congress and has witnessed changes in the process over the years.
"I've seen the appropriations process at its height, and more recently its nadir," he said. "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."
Here's what Moran tweeted after several media organizations announced his plans.
Moran Announces Plans to Retire from Congress - http://t.co/Kl9jWN8NpQ— Jim Moran (@Jim_Moran) January 15, 2014
A statement posted on Moran's website says the following:
Washington D.C. - Representative Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee and senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that he will not seek re- election.
"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."
Reaction to Moran's retirement
Moran was in line to be the dean of Virginia's congressional delegation after Republican Frank Wolf announced last month that he would be retiring after 17 terms.
Wolf released this statement about Moran.
"Jim is more than a colleague in the House. He is a friend. He and I have worked side-by-side on a variety of projects and issues over the years, from getting funding for the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge to improvements on the George Washington Parkway to fighting for federal employees. He has been a true partner in working for Northern Virginia and will be missed."
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said this is a prepared statement:
"For the past 35 years, Jim Moran has been a fierce advocate for the people of Northern Virginia, a responsible steward of the federal appropriations process and a voice for so many who are often left on the margins of our society. No one has fought harder for the men and women who serve and sacrifice in the United States Armed Forces, and for the federal employees who are so important to the economy of his district and our entire Commonwealth. And his leadership on the House Appropriations Committee has resulted in billions of dollars in federal investments in transportation and economic development projects, like the new Wilson Bridge, that have created jobs, eased congestion and improved the lives of the people he serves.
"On a personal level, Dorothy and I have come to value Congressman Moran's friendship and sound advice. His presence in Congress and as a leader in Virginia will be sorely missed, but the enormous impact he has had on our Commonwealth and country will endure for years to come."
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
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