Maryland Democrat Ruppersberger set to retire after 11 terms

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) is retiring from Congress at the end of the year, hanging up his hat in the House after serving 11 terms in the upper chamber.

Ruppersberger, 77, who was first elected to the House in 2002, said the time has come for a new generation of leaders in Washington.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me because, now more than ever, Congress needs thoughtful, end-game representatives like me — members who care more about constituents and our country and less about cable news hits. But it is time to pass the torch to a younger generation of leaders and I am looking forward to spending more time with my family.” Ruppersberger wrote in a statement.

Ruppersberger, who represents Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District, sits on the House Appropriations Committee. He served on the House Intelligence Committee and for four years was the top Democrat on the panel.

Before Congress, Ruppersberger was a Baltimore County Council member and Baltimore County Executive.

In his statement Friday, the Maryland Democrat cited work he did on Social Security and Medicare, veterans benefits and health care.

“I am so proud of what we have accomplished. Together with my staff — which is the best team in the country — we have provided service to countless constituents over the years, including seniors navigating Social Security and Medicare, veterans having trouble accessing their benefits and families facing foreclosure,” he said.

“In Washington, we helped pass landmark legislation expanding access to healthcare insurance, investing in our country’s aging infrastructure and policies to help weather an unprecedented global pandemic and combat climate change,” he added.

He also paid homage to the Baltimore Ravens, who are playing the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday for a spot in the Super Bowl.

“Let’s go Ravens,” Ruppersberger said at the end of a video announcing his decision not to run for another term.

Democrats are likely to hang on to Ruppersberger’s seat in November. President Biden easily won the district in the 2020 election, besting former President Trump 59.4 percent to 38.6 percent.

Ruppersberger is the 41st lawmaker to announce their retirement from the House or unveil plans to seek another office, according to the House press gallery. Democrats are currently leaving the chamber in higher numbers than Republicans, 23 to 18.

The swell of lawmakers running for the exits comes as members are making their way through a particularly unproductive congressional session. Congress enacted just a handful of bills last year, and lawmakers had to work through two Speaker races, a pair of potential government shutdowns and almost triggering the first-ever economic default.

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