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Camp Fourth in Michigan Congressional Delegation to Announce Retirement

Congressman Dave Camp is an outspoken champion of tax code simplification, but a divided Congress lacked the political will to tackle financial sacred cows like mortgage deductions and income-tax brackets.

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Midland Republican who represents Michigan's 4th District, said Monday he won't seek another term this November.
U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Midland Republican who represents Michigan's 4th District, said Monday he won't seek another term this November.

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Midland Republican who represents the 4th District, is the fourth member of Michigan’s congressional district to call it quits at the end of this term.

Camp, 60, has served in Congress since 1991, did not give a reason for his decision not to seek re-election in the mid-term elections, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Besides Levin, other Michigan lawmakers retiring at the end of this term are U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and U.S. Rep. John Dingell, both Dearborn Democrats, and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Howell Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee.

Camp has chaired the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, but because of Republican House rules, he will be forced to step down from that position at the end of this term.

Camp, an outspoken champion of simplifying the nation’s tax code, released a plan that tackled several serious issues, but it was quickly dismissed by House GOP leaders and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as something that wouldn’t happen in advance of the mid-term elections.

Camp, who is cancer free after a 2012 bout with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, had flirted with the idea of running for the Senate seat Levin is vacating, but decided instead to devote his energy to overhauling the tax code, the Washington Post reports.

Montana Democrat Max Barcus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, had planned to work with Camp to get the tax code overhaul through both chambers, but resigned in February to become an ambassador to China. By then, it was clear a divided Congress lacks the political will to take on a politically contentious examination of many financial sacred cows, including trimming mortgage deductions, how to tax private equity firms and hedge funds, and what the top income tax rate should be, the Post said.

The Post said that given the political posturing around tax code overhaul and rules that prevent him from continuing as House Ways and Means chair, Camp’s retirement wasn’t a surprise to Capitol Hill insiders.

Camp said in the statement that the decision was “reached after much consideration and discussion with my family.”

The full statement:

“Serving in Congress is the great honor of my professional life. I am deeply grateful to the people of the 4th Congressional District for placing their trust in me. Over the years, their unwavering support has been a source of strength, purpose and inspiration. During the next nine months, I will redouble my efforts to grow our economy and expand opportunity for every American by fixing our broken tax code, permanently solving physician payments for seniors, strengthening the social safety net and finding new markets for U.S. goods and services."

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a statement crediting Camp’s “exceptional” ability to reach consensus on far-flung issues ranging from trade and export policies to adoption and tax reform.

The Congress will miss Dave's expertise and steady hand. Mid-Michigan will miss his phenomenal leadership,” Schuette said.

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